Advertising, Connected TV

Prove You’re Not a Robot: Why AI Needs a Human Touch

New AI technologies are launching every day, but consumers and marketers alike aren’t totally sold on these tools’ standalone capabilities.

Prove You’re Not a Robot: Why AI Needs a Human Touch

6 Min Read

Hey reader! We’re gonna try something new with this article—we’d like to see what happens if ChatGPT writes it. Enjoy!

Just kidding. Sorry to disappoint any artificial intelligence (AI) fans out there—this was written by a real-life member of the MNTN Team. But admit it—you wouldn’t have been all that surprised to have stumbled upon a ChatGPT-written post, would you?

Reaching 100 million users in its first two months, ChatGPT certainly made a splash after going public in November 2022. Since then, generative AI (GAI) has taken on a life of its own (pun intended), with new tools being released all the time. A variety of companies have gotten in on the game, offering solutions for consumers’ every need, from photo editing to simplifying legal documents, taking meeting notes to generating music (not to mention, ahem, supporting the creation of video ads…but more on that in a minute).

What people might not be aware of is that, in many cases, AI has been working behind the scenes for years, particularly in advertising. As a recent research analysis reports, “With half of all media already AI-enabled to some degree, media currently is the primary use of AI on Madison Avenue.”

For those of us “in the biz,” this isn’t some big secret. What’s important to note now, though, is how people—consumers and marketers alike—are feeling about these advances in AI technologies.

New AI Tech Everywhere You Look

Before diving into the various sentiments surrounding AI, let’s run down some of the latest developments in the space.

Google introduces Search Labs. Google recently announced the launch of its new GAI-powered search experience, Search Labs. Currently only available to a select group of trial users, Search Labs promises “more information and context to your searches.” Some early adopters noted that the experience was less than satisfactory, describing the process as slower than a normal web search. But Google has taken strides to address these concerns. “Since opening the search generative experience two weeks ago, Google wrote in a tweet that the company made major strides in reducing the time it takes for the engine to return a query,” MediaPost reports. “In fact, Google cut the query time in half.”

The Trade Desk rolls out media buying platform Kokai. Last week, adtech company The Trade Desk (TTD) debuted its latest AI technology, Kokai. Touting Kokai as the “biggest upgrade we’ve ever done in our company history,” TTD explains that the solution will help programmatic marketers manage AI-based ad campaigns.

Meta enters the chat with MusicGen. Meta’s new GAI tool, meanwhile, creates music based on user prompts like, “An ’80s driving pop song with heavy drums and synth pads in the background.” Wait, didn’t Google just release something similar? Yes, but unlike their MusicLM, Meta’s version is open source.

MNTN announces video creative platform MNTN VIVA. You didn’t think we’d stay out of this, did you? This week, MNTN announced MNTN VIVA, an innovative video creative platform and our newest Creative-as-a-Subscription™ (CaaS) offering. Set to launch later this year, MNTN VIVA brings leading AI platforms together into a single, intuitive interface where users can create, mix, and remix elements like generative video and audio, stock footage, and their own existing assets. If you can edit a video you took on your phone, you can edit a video with VIVA.

Some People Aren’t Sure About AI’s Capabilities

Naturally, this rush of new AI solutions brings with it a rush of questions, too. Google’s Search Labs, for one, is facing allegations of plagiarism. Tom’s Hardware, an editorial website that offers content for “tech enthusiasts of all skill levels,” claims that the new search experience is crawling and regurgitating their copy as its own.

Editor-in-Chief of Tom’s Hardware, Avram Piltch, reports: “When I searched ‘which is faster the Ryzen 7 7800X3D or the Core i9-13900K,’ the Google SGE grabbed an exact phrase from our Tom’s Hardware article comparing the two CPUs.”

On top of this, while plenty of marketers see AI as a game changer, plenty more share these misgivings. When built correctly, AI solutions can offer benefits, particularly when it comes to creating efficiency—many advertising platforms use some form of AI to automate ad buys, campaign optimizations, and so on. That said, it can be difficult to prove that these technologies are actually doing what they claim.

Marketers “have reservations about engaging in a high-stakes game called ‘Trust the Robot,’ wherein they relinquish their valuable data and control over how their campaign goals should be achieved to AI systems,” Digiday explains. “It’s the same for all the platforms and their AI-powered ad tools, including Google’s Performance Max, Meta’s Advantage+, and even TikTok’s Smart Performance Campaigns (SPC).”

One key way marketers can build more trust and accountability with AI is through real-time reporting. Comprehensive measurement tools enable marketers to monitor and verify the performance of any AI technologies they are using.

Consumers are also a bit skeptical of AI. A recent survey by Dentsu suggests that while 78% of consumers polled believe generative AI is the future, only 39% are actually excited about this future. Respondents also made it known that they value transparency—more than 70% of consumers believe that brands should disclose when they use AI across products, services, experiences, and content.

Without the Human Touch, Artificial Intelligence Feels…Artificial

Real talk: AI isn’t going anywhere. We can’t put that genie back in its bottle; development shows no signs of slowing down. So how can consumers and marketers address the concerns they have about these technologies? Funnily enough, the thing AI could need most going forward might just be a human touch.

“I think generative AI is just like any other tool that we have at our disposal, and it’s how we use the tools to tell stories,” Klick Health Chief Creative Officer Rich Levy tells MM+M.

Instead of looking at AI technologies as all-encompassing programs that will do an entire job perfectly, they might be better viewed as one piece to the puzzle in completing a task. Marketers can use AI tools—emphasis on tools—to help optimize campaign performance, or in the development of ad creative.

“I believe Creative AI will lead to an explosion of new video creation for marketers, with video professionals playing a big role,” says MNTN President and CEO Mark Douglas.

But ensuring that AI performs how it’s supposed to might be up to the person using it. If we work with these technologies and use them as tools to support our needs (business, personal, or otherwise), we maintain control and build enduring trust—ultimately proving out AI’s usefulness to whoever is working with it.

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