Akshit Pushkarna
Points of View

What can Google ‘Bard’ do for ad folk?

Digital advertising experts weigh in on the impact of ‘Bard’ and AI-powered chatbots on the industry.

Microsoft-backed OpenAI took the digital space by storm when it introduced an artificial intelligence program, ChatGPT. Primarily a chatbot, the application is convenient to use. Along with its rather compelling answering style, it has become an instant hit. It now has about 100 million users, making it the fastest-growing consumer application in history.

The application’s popularity has created a market for AI-powered chatbots, and Microsoft is the first mover in the space. Two months after ChatGPT entered the market, Google has now announced that it will soon be realising its own chatbot, ‘Bard’. 

In a blog post, Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google and Alphabet, said that the company has leveraged Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA), an AI tool that the company unveiled two years ago, in developing this ‘experimental conversational AI service”.

“Bard seeks to combine the breadth of the world’s knowledge with the power, intelligence and creativity of our large language models. It draws on information from the web to provide fresh, high-quality responses,” Pichai said.

Chatbots have proven to be quite sharp and time efficient, when it comes to creating content. This has led to many in content-driven industries to experiment with the ChatGPT tool. The question that arises with Google entering the space is this: what impact will ‘Bard’ have on the digital advertising and marketing space?

Some prominent digital advertising heads weigh in with their thoughts.

Edited excerpts:

Dr Kushal Sanghvi, head - India and SEA, CitrusAd

I see a lot of fatigue setting in terms of SEO and SEM work in digital marketing. These tasks are generally not the most creative energy absorbing and, hence, can be seen as something mundane. 

If the AI chatbot market continues to grow and newer players come in, these processes will gradually become automated. It will be brilliant if the developers are able to add a feature where visual elements can also be created by AI. That would then automate more aspects of digital marketing and may impact the market to a great extent.

Dr Kushal Sanghvi
Dr Kushal Sanghvi

It would be interesting to see if Google is able to integrate this tech into its existing services, like emails and chats. Further, if ‘Bard’ is also integrated into the YouTube algorithm, it will come in handy for media planners to get insights into consumer behavior as well.

Google has been exceptional when it comes to especially mailing. In other digital businesses, like social media and short video platforms, it hasn’t been able to make a mark. It would be interesting to see how it performs with ‘Bard’.  

Preetham Venkky, president, 22feet Tribal Worldwide, & chief digital officer, DDB Mudra Group

The big players, i.e., anybody sitting on a humongous amount of information data, will be looking to venture into this in the near future. The natural progression of following Google, will be Meta, because of the abundance of data it possesses.

When it comes to the advertising industry, there are three moving outputs: video, image, and copy. Copy and image would be disrupted massively by AI. The video includes social media posts, copies for blogs, etc. Over the next few years, all of it will be written by AI.

Preetam Venkky
Preetam Venkky

With AI, I like using the word ‘assistive intelligence’, as opposed to ‘artificial intelligence’. You'll still need a human to vet its output, edit it and add value to it.

Rajiv Dingra, founder and CEO, RD&X network

With the meteoric rise to fame of Microsoft's ChatGPT and now with Google entering the space as well, the age of AI dominance has begun. Google had the AI tech before Microsoft, but didn't think it had much of a market earlier. 

Rajiv Dingra
Rajiv Dingra

Google's creation would be a ‘me too’ sort of follow up to ChatGPT and, hence, will have a similar audience and impact.  

However, Google will have to play catch-up to Microsoft now, as it has lost the first mover advantage. AI will now be a playground for some big tech players. It won't be surprising if Amazon follows suit.

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