Do consumers want to speak to their ads? IBM and The Weather Company think so. After the latter’s digital division was acquired by Big Blue, the pair this year launched “Watson Ads”, using the artificial intelligence system’s natural language-handling capabilities to power a conversational new ad format.

So what’s the big idea? For Weather Company CMO Jordan Bitterman, it’s about using the cloud to go beyond weather.

“We’re making a transition where the data that we provide is not just in the weather space,” he tells Beet.TV in this video interview. “We’ve got a ton of geolocation data … everything from professional weather stations to amateur weather stations, but also to smart phones and cars, etc. All of that data is value that we can put to work for brands and for businesses.”

Why Watson? Because IBM’s software could be a secret weapon for ad targeting.

“It can take that data, learn from it just like you and I learn from anything, any lessons that we have, and then we can optimize it and put it back into the marketplace,” Bitterman adds.

“Being part of Watson, it enables us to take all the data that we have, put it together and combine it with our clients’ first party data or any other kind of third party data and utilize it for best effect on their business.”

This interview is part of our series “The Road to CES,” a lead-up series in advance of CES 2017. The series is presented by FreeWheel. Please find more videos from the series here.

The Road to CES 2017, presented by FreeWheelTagged ,