NEW YORK: The New York Times has announced the establishment of a specialist team, which focuses on data and the development of artificial intelligence tools to help brands and advertisers better understand its readers.

Called nytDEMO, the team is made up of staff from the publisher’s data, product and design, technology and advertising groups – and it aims to build data-led products for brands based on its own audience insights.

Announcing the launch in a press release, The New York Times explained that its nytDEMO team has already developed two tools based on emotional engagement and ad targeting.

The first, called Project Feels, is said to use “active learning” to identify the most informative articles to present to readers and to measure and predict their emotional responses.

Based on the machine-learning that powers Project Feels, nytDEMO has since launched another tool, called “perspective targeting”, which allows advertisers to target media based on content that is predicted to evoke particular reader sentiments, such as self-confidence or adventurousness.

A third feature, which is called Readerscope and is due to be launched soon, is described as a “content strategy tool” which uses anonymised data to assess what topics readers are interested in as well as their location.

According to the statement, Readerscope can be used to develop creative ideas for branded content or campaigns by searching for target audience segments to understand what they’re reading.

It can also help brands find their desired audience or geography by searching a particular topic and checking which audiences – perhaps millennial women – over-index for interest about that subject.

“These data products grew out of our internal innovations using machine-learning to understand our readers better,” said Chris Wiggins, Chief Data Scientist at The New York Times.

“Project Feels and Readerscope are just two of the data-empowered algorithmic tools we’ve developed, first as tested prototypes and then, with the help of the cross-functional team at nytDEMO, as data products that can help The Times’s advertisers.”

Alison Murphy, VP of Advertising Innovation, added: “We see insights as the next frontier for The Times advertising business … We’ve created nytDEMO, a first of its kind team, to transform our vast audience understanding into ad products and tools, inviting brands to tap into our knowledge to drive results.”

Sourced from The New York Times; additional content by WARC staff