CANNES – Lost in the headlines about so-called fake news is the reality that artificial intelligence is making things better. But it’s not lost on Washington Post.
“I think the way we think about AI is how to strengthen our journalism,” Jarrod Dicker, Washington Post’s Head of Commercial Product & Technology, says in this interview with Beet.TV at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.
“How can we create more stories in a broader scope that are more factual, that allow us to be able to take artificial intelligence and API’s to help us bring our journalism farther.”
What he finds particularly interesting right now is how companies like his are using AI to benefit their advertisers. This is important when some people are questioning whether brands are funding fake news and whether “fake advertising” exists, according to Dicker.
“I think it’s up to the publishers to build in certain products and technologies and investments on our site and really bring them from point A to B faster,” he says.
Washington Post’s effort in this regard is Postcards on the Post, which allows it to identify each consumer’s consumption habit based on content type. It’s used for branded content.
As ADWEEK reports, the initiative breaks down an immersive piece of branded content into its multimedia components, which can include infographics, video, text and photo galleries. These can all be turned into standalone units that are then targeted to individuals using available data on their content preferences.
“You look at how different publishers are delivering their stories and it’s always the same thing,” says Dicker. “Headline with the description, similar to what the front page of a paper looked like in 1950 and 1960 a lot of modern home pages look exactly the same.”
This ignores the reality of how people consume content and how data brings these preferences to light.
“So if we know that a consumer prefers video over text, over images, then why don’t we deliver that medium to them directly where that promotion sits?” Dicker says.
Postcards on the Post delivers branded content “in a very seamless and authentic way” that our users are most likely to consume “at that given point wherever they are.”