5 Concerns About AI in Marketing

Understanding how regulation and privacy will apply artificial intelligence

When something as disruptive as the current wave of generative AI technology pops up, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with excitement – it’s always healthy to keep one eye on the potential issues it’ll create as well…


We’ll be looking at 5 concerns that need to be talked about: privacy, copyright, search engine ad placements, ad inventory, and job security.


1. Privacy concerns

There’s a growing concern in the public about how safe their private data is in the hands of deep-learning AI models.


Where the data that deep learning AI models use to learn comes from isn’t entirely clear – which raises questions about how much personal data is harvested without user permission.


That means that using AI to produce hyper-personalized marketing or advertising content can backfire by making end users suspicious of whether their personal privacy has been breached (even if it hasn’t been), leading to negative brand associations.


2. Copyright breaches

What constitutes ‘fair-use’ transformation, and what’s blatant plagiarism? The legal lines haven’t been entirely drawn for generative AI yet, but expect more lawsuits to pop up.


As deep learning and generative AI improves at creating images and videos, marketers and advertisers may be tempted to jump feet-first into the new technology and start replacing human designers with machine generation. At the moment, it’s still unclear what precautions are necessary to avoid litigation down the line. Using AI-generated graphics may be reasonably safe – or it may cause serious legal migraines.


More regulation for AI-generated content is on the horizon, so keep an eye out for developments.


3. Search engine ad placements

In the US alone, search ad spend reached over $110 billion. Sponsoring links to appear at the top of search engine results is a cornerstone of digital advertising.


Generative AI, and chatbots in particular, are disrupting that market. ChatGPT is now able to draw data from around the internet, bringing it a step closer to being a search engine rival. With that said, hallucinations are still an issue.


Imagining ChatGPT saying “I have been paid to recommend this product” feels a little unnatural. Although chatbot dominance over search engines isn’t a done deal, it’s a possibility, and figuring out how advertising will work with that should be a priority.


4. Ad inventory

Same technological progression, different problem: With the rise of AI chatbots, users may be disincentivized from visiting different pages for more information, as their chatbot windows provide everything they need. That could mean the future internet will have dramatically fewer eyes on advertising space than it does today.


Publishers host advertising inventory on sites that provide product recommendations, answers to questions, reviews, news, and much more – sites that could prove less popular when answers are being provided by AI assistants in conversation form.


5. Job security

Is AI coming after our jobs?


With major companies such as IBM openly considering replacing thousands of office jobs with AI, it’s a question that’s ringing out across industries, and digital advertising and marketing are no exception.


AI is increasingly able to do creative and mundane tasks. While that offers huge opportunities for efficiency and optimization, it should also create concern for how much of the industry’s professional positions can be automated – shrinking teams of creatives to AI prompt engineers and editors can save money, but there’s a human cost to consider as well.


Keeping the discussion going

We’re no doomsayers – ShowHeroes has used AI in our advertising via our SemanticHero technology to great effect long before ChatGPT hit headlines, and we’ll continue innovating as technology progresses.


However, every major innovation needs sober discussion. We hope you’ve found this thought-provoking – let’s continue talking.


If you’re in need of a conversation partner, we’ve heard ChatGPT makes for a decent one…