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Biometrics: the future of AI?

News, 23 June 2016

SYDNEY: Marketers are looking toward artificial intelligence (AI) to boost capability in measurement and targeting, according to an expert in the field.

Karen Nelson-Field, CEO of Media Intelligence Co., Professor of Media Innovation at the University of Adelaide, and the author of Viral Marketing: The Science of Sharing, addressed this topic at the AdNews Media Summit in Sydney.

And she outlined potentially significant opportunities for advertisers in the areas of viewability, ad avoidance, audience measurement and contextual programmatic targeting in real-time. (For more, including how AI can help marketers create better advertising, read Warc's exclusive report: Artificial intelligence joins the quest for the marketing Holy Grail.)

While biometrics and similar technology have been used before to track people's responses to ads in a laboratory setting, Nelson-Field argued this is too removed from how people interact with advertising in real life.

She suggested that the next step for marketers is in biometrics with vision AI behind it, a phase that will harness subconscious recollection and provide a more accurate picture of how consumers interact with advertising in real life.

"We will be recording what consumers are actually doing, not what they say they do or what they say they plan to do," she said.

"We're trying to predict buying propensity before a customer knows they are in the market to buy. Most of the time we don't search for products, particularly those that are fairly non-eventful," she added.

"How do you target subconscious ready-to-buy and build, in essence, the right message for the subconscious state?"

Biometrics may also provide a better way to measure attention.

"What's awesome about attention, when collected the biometric way, is that it transcends media types. That whole cross-media issue can be closed," said Nelson-Field.

This technology is already being used in the UK where it has been embedded in some out-of-home media.

"When someone walks past the digital outdoor application, the algorithm can read things such as ethnicity, gender, body mass index and also things like whether they've got a dog with them or a walking stick or a bunch of shopping bags or multiple children. Obviously, the plan is to link that back to programmatic exchange that can serve the relevant advertising in real time," she said.

Data sourced from Warc