GLOBAL: Marketers and agencies faced with a huge and ever-growing amount of data will have to use artificial intelligence to make sense of it, while at the same time addressing the ethical issues of new data-gathering options, such as emotion-tracking.

Writing in the current issue of Admap, Charlie Cottrell, head of editorial at We Are Social, outlines how consumers have come to accept the idea of giving up access to their data in exchange for something, even if they’re not always fully aware of the extent of the data being captured.

Even news stories suggesting Amazon’s Alexa might be eavesdropping on domestic conversations and passing on information to third parties have not dented the novelty and convenience of being able to instruct a robot valet.

This means that, on top of online data about shopping habits, likes and interests, location marketers can now capture new demographic variables such as intonation, word choice, pitch and pace.

“All this new data is allowing us to paint more textured character profiles of our consumers,” Cottrell notes.

Data alone, however, is not a silver bullet, she adds: “we have to know how to attack the information.

“The application of computerised assistance allows us to cast a net into this vast sea of data points, to help us advance creatively in three main areas: identifying an opportunity, shaping the creative execution, and sharply targeted distribution.”

AI, she argues, operates as “a tirelessly diligent and proactive assistant” that helps deliver insights at speed, while dynamic social video can then deliver personalised creative that is both more effective for advertisers and consumers.

The future holds out the possibility of gathering emotion-based information, using details such as typing pressure and speed as indicators of mood, or using visual cues to track a user’s emotional reaction to content by capturing images of their face through their smartphone or laptop camera.

But, Cottrell asks, “Is clicking an ‘agree’ button when you set up your Facebook profile sufficient permission for the platform to activate your camera and use your subconscious micro-expressions to tap into your brain's reward centre?

“Can something as morally complex as someone’s emotional state be auctioned off to the company with the highest media budget?”

Brands, agencies and creatives will be forced to declare and stand by their values, Cottrell maintained, “even if that means sacrificing the bottom line”.

Sourced from Admap