UPDATED 06:23 EST / JUNE 03 2016


IBM and The Weather Company to use Watson AI platform to power smart advertisements

In an interesting new adaption of its leading artificial intelligence (AI) solution, International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) has announced that its Watson AI platform will now power smart advertisements that interact with consumers.

The first use of the new application is being delivered through the IBM-owned The Weather Company, and will allow consumers to ask questions via voice or text and receive relevant information about the product or offering.

“Marketers have long sought an advertising solution that can create a one-to-one connection with the consumer, that can be personal, relevant and valuable; and can scale across millions of interactions and touchpoint,” IBM explained in a media release. “Watson Ads will help marketers achieve those goals, and can also help them uncover consumer and product insights faster than ever before, revealing connections previously invisible to human data scientists. This will be the first consumer use of IBM Watson technology for advertising purposes.”

The leveraging of  Watson’s abilities to understand natural language, reason, learn and interact with humans is said to help help consumers make more informed decisions at point of consideration, improving the customer experience, aid product information, inform and optimize creative strategies, and to help marketers use data more effectively; further Watson’s ability to process and create context from large amounts of unstructured data will help marketers provide consumers with meaningful, true brand and product engagement.

Watson Ads Council

The Weather Company said it intends to create the Watson Ads Council, a group which will see the company work with a team of marketers from various advertisers who will act as a sounding board for the latest innovations leveraging Watson Ads and cognitive advancements in advertising.

“Our members will help us learn how to best leverage cognitive computing, machine learning, and natural language generation and processing. They’ll help us drive the industry and lead the direction for how cognition can improve advertising,” Jeremy Steinberg, global head of sales, The Weather Company said.

“While in this increasingly cluttered world it is getting harder and harder to breakthrough and engage people, technology is helping to find ways to connect with more relevant content,” said Keith Weed, chief marketing and communications officer, Unilever. “This will help us to create better, more engaging content that matches our consumers’ interests and unique preferences.”

The first companies to sign up to use the service, and be represented on the council are the Campbell Soup Company, Unilever and GSK Consumer Healthcare.

Image credit: atomictaco/Flickr/CC by 2.0

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