21.10.2019

IBM Watson give intelligent ads wider release, expands targeting

Watson-powered ads (right) are now available on any site or app, not just Weather.com or the Weather Channel app.

It’s a good thing IBM’s Watson super-smart computer doesn’t need to sleep. Because his parent company is making him work all the time.

The Jeopardy winner now has three new job descriptions, announced this week:

Watson Ads Omni. In mid-2016, IBM unveiled Watson Ads, where Watson offered knowledge-based recommendations based on viewer input. They were originally available only for Weather.com and the Weather Channel app, both IBM properties. But now IBM is launching Watson Ads Omni, which makes these intelligently interactive ads available for any site or app via a tag. IBM, however, has to create the ads, a process that includes ingesting all the relevant knowledge about a topic so Watson can act like his usual smarty self. The first Omni ad is for Lego, where parents and kids can ask and answer questions and receive product recommendations. At the top of this page is a similar ad for Behr paints, although this one is actually located on weather.com.

IBM Media Optimizer, powered by ad tech provider MediaMath’s demand-side platform and data management platform, utilizes data from paid and owned media to optimize the bidding process via Watson AI technology, providing recommendations on when, where and for how much ads are purchased based on real-time assessments of each potential viewer’s conversion probability.

Predictive Audiences. Developed with customer identity provider LiveRamp, this product employs Watson AI to help process and match large third-party sets, brand’s own customer lists and IdentityLink data from LiveRamp.While this may sound like what LiveRamp already does, IBM Watson Advertising Head of Revenue Jeremy Hlavacek said that Predictive Audiences can offer new insights through the use of the Watson neural net, faster processing of large datasets, and the addition of weather and location data that only IBM’s Weather.com has.

Why marketers should care. The new ad and targeting-focused efforts follows the general availability this week of Watson Assistant for Marketing, part of the Watson Campaign Automation platform. Taking the new announcements together, it’s clear that IBM envisions a real future for its most famous offspring in the art and science of creating demand.

These new announcements also raise the bar for AI-informed capabilities, given that intelligence is now or will soon infuse every tool. Watson is a leading member of top-level cloud-based platforms which can digest unlimited amounts of knowledge, develop independent insights, handle natural language and voice recognition, and generally move AI toward the goal of super-smart assistants that can do a lot more than just automate processes.

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