Tell us a bit more about your session at PI LIVE 2018?

The artificial intelligence (AI) frenzy has certainly wormed its way to the core of digital advertising. Everyone is talking about AI from your barber to your accountant. This makes it difficult to establish hype from genuine and effective development.
The session will take people through some of the current hot talking points of automation and AI, and what it means for its position in its technological life cycle. Considering this we should be able to decipher the current standing of performance marketing, allowing us to wade through some of the hype and explore some real-world digital marketing uses of AI. Finally, we will look at some recent advancements in our industry, outside of AI, and how intelligent tech could help differentiate yourself in a very saturated market.

What talking points or key takeaways do you think will drive the most debate?

  1. People need to understand the potential of AI. But equally, need to do so with guarded optimism as there is much inflation surrounding the technology.
  2. I want them to understand how a good use of analytics and automation in many cases will make for a fine AI substitute.
  3. There are many factions of our industry that are crying out for some clever implementation of AI, I want people to want to go away and want to fix this.

How has the role of performance marketing evolved in the last few years?

The role of performance marketing has evolved massively since I first got involved in the industry. Where once our success was purely measured by specific predefined actions, we are now seeing the need for innovation in order to achieve true success. Yes, this innovation will tend to lead to increases in performance and efficiency! However, in order to achieve real value for our clients’ performance marketing now requires research and development which is not immediately measurable. It means that our roles as performance marketers are increasingly becoming ones of trailblazers rather than performance optimizers.

What’s been the most creative use of AI or machine learning you’ve seen this year?

AI is far sprung, moving at different velocities and has far different uses across the sectors. AI is also still predominantly at a point where it is still being designed for a specific task. It is because of this I find it difficult to find just one example of AI, however, two standouts for me are:
With few political or social barriers preventing widespread inundation of AI within China, the technology is being tested in new ways. Baidu are heavily involved in all kinds of a project with the government, predominantly because of the vast data they have access to. Watch this space as it is not one but many uses of AI that is light-years ahead of the west.
Outside of China, medical advances are what grab me the most. Recent application of Google’s deep mind within Moorfield eye hospital has taken headlines. The technology is able to refer people for eye treatment with an accuracy of 94% which crucially matches that of a doctor. I believe these types of advancements in AI are likely to do wonders for the NHS by:

  1. Saving sight/lives
  2. Saving money
  3. Creating jobs

Again, it is a search engine that is powering these changes!

The show isn’t far away – what are you most looking forward to, whether it’s sessions, meeting people or just being in London?

The sessions are great, and I will have the ones I want to go see pencilled in my program well before the day. But it is the people we go see and the people we go to celebrate that really make it. I am looking forward to catching up with a lot of people, meeting new people and celebrating some of the great work of people I am yet to meet at the IPMA award night!

Find out more about PI LIVE.