SALISBURY, CT — The digital advertising industry is witnessing a data explosion, with more device IDs and user IDs than the global population.

However, this burgeoning abundance of data isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, argues David Buonasera, CTO of Magnite.

In this video interview with Mike Shields for Beet.TV, Buonasera suggests the data devil is in the detail.

The Double-edged Sword of Data

Buonasera acknowledges the sharp increase in audience data over the past decade.

But with great data, comes great responsibility—or rather, great challenges. “We’re seeing user IDs and device IDs that we haven’t actually seen requests for in a very long time, and it’s just growing and growing over time,” he notes.

Buonasera, whose Magnite is an ad-tech company offering both demand- and supply-side platforms, highlights the industry’s problem of accumulating “data that isn’t actually even that usable anymore”.

More than that, while cookies are increasingly being phased-out, Buonasera warns that the data problem is about to “explode times 50, a hundred,” as every publisher will have a unique ID for each user.

He casts doubts on any single post-cookie solution becoming ubiquitous, foreseeing instead “a series of different solutions” with potential for a few to emerge as dominant over time.

Magnite Appoints David Buonasera to Chief Technology Officer

Assess AI On Its Merits

Now Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are the new kids on the block, offering a whole new array of use cases in advertising. But, while the buzz around AI in the industry is palpable, Buonasera reminds us that it is not exactly a new phenomenon.

“A lot of these technologies actually were coming out two or three years ago,” he remarks, referring to technology that transcribes audio to text.

He notes the rise of products built on top of these solutions and anticipates more to come, particularly around large language models (LLMs). However, he cautions against expecting AI to be a panacea for all ad tech issues, asserting that “an LLM is not really the right choice for a lot of the decisions we have to make in ad tech.”

Buonasera is skeptical about the idea of completely handing over media planning to machines. He agrees that AI will play a role in the media planning space but tempers expectations of a total AI takeover any time soon.

“I’m not sure that we’re going to be in a place where we just literally hand over the keys,” he concludes, emphasizing the need for a more nuanced understanding of the role AI will play in the industry.

You’re watching coverage of Beet Retreat Berkshires, our latest Retreat in Salisbury, Connecticut — presented by Magnite, KERV & TransUnion. For more videos from this event, please visit this page.