We haven’t quite reached peak robot, but we are getting closer every year. In 2019, artificial intelligence took over as copywriters, media buyers and influencers. We’ve come much farther than a half-century ago, when Ad Age chronicled 10 newsmakers that included eight men, one woman and a computer. At the time, a Xerox executive warned “We are all in danger of being drowned in data.” What would he say now?
Machines beat humans at Chase
After a trial in which artificial intelligence outperformed humans for tasks such as writing ad copy, the bank tapped Persado, a company that applies AI to marketing creative, for a five-year deal. Kristin Lemkau, who was CMO of JPMorgan Chase at the time and is now head of U.S, wealth management, called the technology “incredibly promising.” Perhaps not for marketing creatives, though.
A different kind of holiday elf
Kohl’s called on some extra helpers this past holiday season—in the form of computers. The retailer continued a trial with Google it began over the summer to add more AI to its digital media buying. The retailer also said it is incorporating more AI into email subject lines and banner ads.
All of the faces of hunger
Feeding America created a composite image of the people across the nation who visit food banks—that image, of a woman with short dark hair, headlined the nonprofit’s campaign earlier this year.
Robots write the news
This one hit close to home. Patch, the local news site operator, used AI to write articles, chiefly run-of-the-mill stories and data. The publisher, which said it was relieving staffers of tedious work, posts around 3,000 stories each week through the technology.
Machines can be influential, too, as cosmetics brand Essence proved this month when it created a virtual influencer for Instagram. Other non-real stars include Lil Miquela, whose kiss with supermodel Bella Hadid in a Calvin Klein ad sparked backlash and an apology earlier this year.