The coincidental emergence of the #MeToo hashtag and self-training, self-replicating AI systems got me thinking. How will a self-training AI system be biased when learning from the #MeToo hashtagged posts? And how would the advent of self-training AI affect the systems that control our news feeds and other curated content presented to us?
According to Gartner, 2017 is the year CMOs (chief marketing officers) will buy more tech than CIOs (chief information officers). This is truly unfortunate. CMOs should never buy tech, ever!
When you analyze the effects of fraud, viewability and ad blocking on the digital display advertising business, then add the ever-increasing abilities of the traffic launderers to game the system, you reach an inevitable conclusion: ad tech has evolved into a toxic ecosystem that is killing itself, and it is taking digital advertising with it.
Bots generate more than half the traffic on the public Internet. This is indisputable. In fact, the Association of National Advertisers believes that advertisers will lose $6.3 billion globally to bots in 2015. This will not stop until someone (the marketers, the government, the justice department) makes it stop because everyone – the ad networks, the traffic sellers, the bot creators, the publishers, the ad agencies, the trading desks, the DMPs, the SSPs, everyone – except the marketers – is making money.
Every crisis needs a villain. The advertising crisis is no exception. Some want to blame ad networks, others want to blame programmatic pricing tools, and still others believe that bad coding is at fault. Page load times are an obvious villain, but maybe we should blame the evildoers who clutter our world with massive amounts of interruptive, unwanted ad fodder. In practice, there are a number of easily identifiable tactical and executional factors contributing to the industry's existential crisis. Sadly, even if the industry could solve all of them, the effort would do very little, if anything, to correct the misalignment of outcomes and incentives that are the root of ad evil.