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Google backs Bard to generate ads, which apparently improves creativity

Assures advertisers 'guardrails' will stop anything bad from happening

With the rise of ChatGPT, Bing Chat, and Google's Bard, generative AI is seemingly inescapable, and it will soon power many of the ads you see on the internet.

Google plans to roll out generative AI tools to its advertising platform that will reportedly auto-generate ads from customer's marketing materials and by doing so unlock "a world of creativity," the Financial Times reports, citing an internal presentation titled "AI-powered ads 2023."

In addition to producing text and image ads, the AI is said to generate goals and sales targets for advertisers to help them track the effectiveness of their campaigns. The platform is said to use the same underlying technology powering Google's Bard chatbot, announced in March.

While Google didn't address the availability of new generative AI tools, a spokesperson told The Register that any auto-generated or auto-augmented ads would be based on advertiser's existing assets, ads, or landing pages, eliminating the possibility of digital hallucinations that might spread "inaccurate information."

"AI has been foundational to our ads business for more than a decade, and we already help our partners take the content on their landing pages and existing creatives to show the most relevant ads to potential customers," a Google spokesperson wrote in an email to The Register. "We are continuing to explore how AI can further transform existing advertiser assets to make their campaigns as impactful as possible."

The idea that Google would employ generative AI technologies, including large language models to enhance its ad business is hardly surprising. The company has employed various forms of AI/ML in its platform for things like bidding, query matching, as well as in its Performance Max campaigns. The latter, introduced in 2020, generates fully-automated campaigns for how, where, and when ads should run.

However, Google is hardly the only company planning to roll out generative AI advertising tools to its customers. Earlier this month, Facebook parent company Meta revealed it was building a generative AI advertising platform of its own. The Social Network's ad-tech is expected to arrive later this year.

Meanwhile, Microsoft, which has cozied up to ChatGPT and GPT4-creator OpenAI, has reportedly approached advertisers about having their websites and services appear in Bing chatbot queries. That approach, as we reported in March, has some worried that an increased use of chatbots could actually reduce visibility of their ads.

It remains to be seen whether Microsoft plans to put its AI infrastructure to work generating the advertisements themselves, or if it's happy to just shoehorn traditional ads into AI generated answers. Given Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's comments surrounding the launch of Bing Chat and the opportunity to disrupt the online search and advertising status quo, we're betting on the former.

The Register asked Microsoft if the company plans to follow Google's or Meta's example; we'll let you know if we receive a substantive response. ®

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