M&C Saatchi launches "world’s first ever artificially intelligent poster campaign”

The Guardian has published this fascinating article about a AI-fuelled advertising campaign created by M&C Saatchi. 

Launched in London last month, the advertisement - dubbed “the world’s first ever artificially intelligent poster campaign” - uses Microsoft's Kinect sensor to read the reactions of it’s audience and adapt itself accordingly. 

How AI will change the advertising world

This recent article by The Guardian explains how the face of advertising is changing due to consumers’ desire to be interacted with at a more personal level.

The article explains how this change in consumption has led to a development in the use of artificial intelligence within advertising, with advertisements adapting depending on the reaction of those in the near vicinity. Personalisation is key.

There is a stack of fascinating insights within the article, including:

Human interaction is decreasing

By 2020, not only will 80% of the global population be able to access the Internet using smartphones, 85% of customers will manage their relationships without ever talking to a human.’

The consumer process model has changed.

"Times are changing - In the past, casting a wide net in the hope of converting some consumers to take action worked. The infamous purchase funnel model of awareness, interest, desire and action was the bible for many marketers. But this model was created in 1898."

Market to a small percentage of consumers, in a personalised way, rather than a large percentage in an impersonal way.

 "Instead of trying to reach 100%, target the 5%. Flip the funnel metaphor on its head."

Machines can now learn our taste in products and genres, meaning marketing agencies have less to do.

"We now have to do more with less. Less money, less people, less time."


The Ongoing Net Neutrality Debate

The concept of a free Internet is one we’re all used to.  We all know that we can set up our own web page, blog, twitter account etc. without much hassle.  But is this concept in jeopardy?

The debate on Net Neutrality and whether corporations should be allowed to sell ‘fast track’ web access to paying users has been talked about since the dawn of the World Wide Web.

Discussions are heating up and it’s worth staying abreast of what’s being talked about.  This article in The Guardian gives an excellent overview of a digital discussion, which could impact principles many consumers take for granted.

1.     ISPs are discussing charging content providers to deliver a fast track service to their audience (Netflix for example will stream quicker than other services because of this)

2.     4 million people in the US wrote to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) to voice concerns over Net Neutrality

3.     Obama got involved and made a speech suggesting that the FCC should create a new set of rules to protect Net Neutrality - you can read about his principles on the White House website

This could turn into a morality discussion as it crosses the lines between what’s right and what’s profitable for a corporation.  Will the Internet go the same way as the high street with big-brand chains being able to afford a more prominent position? We’ll have to see what 2015 holds. 

Source: ...

Universal. Post. Code.

what3words.com has re-invented the syntax of maps and location finding. They've replaced co-ordinates and post-codes with three easy to remember words. The service uses a huge grid of the world made up of 57 trillion squares of 3 metres x 3 metres. Each square has been given an address, consisting of 3 words from the dictionary.

A recent review article by the Spectator described it like this:

"What this system provides is a mentally salient, super-accurate postcode system for the whole world, oceans included. It is useful in Britain, but in countries which have no established address system it will save lives."
Source: The Spectator

FInd what three words fit your address here: what3words.com

Websites to Start Sending App-Style Alerts

All the major browser providers are working on features that will enable them to send alerts from websites through a PC or mobile operating system.

In 2015, most Web browsers will release the ability to push notifications to visitors. Sites that use the feature will be able to let visitors opt in to receive notifications. The site can then send them alerts even if that site isn't open in the browser at the time. The technology will be delivered on both PCs and mobile platforms, and will work in a similar way to the notifications delivered by mobile apps currently.

Michael van Ouwerkerk, a software engineer working on push notifications for Google’s Chrome team says:

“Once the user has opted in, Web apps will be able to provide timely information to the user without having to go through an installation process. For example, when you check your flight status on an airline’s mobile website, a single tap could subscribe you to updates on any delays."

The exact timing of releases isn't clear yet. Tim Varner, cofounder of Roost, a startup offering development tools for Web push notifications, says he expects major releases from Google and Mozilla to happen within a few months.

“In theory the app store could lose a little bit of its hold on the market,”

However, some caution is needed before jumping into the technology, as it's not yet fully standardised, so there's a danger of VHS/Betamax syndrome. Apple, Google and Mozilla are all currently exploring different approaches. The W3C web standards organisation has a group working on a standard, but it's not complete.

Read more here on the MIT blog.