Google LLC plans to equip its Performance Max advertising service with generative artificial intelligence features, according to a new report.
The Financial Times reported the company’s plan today, citing a source and an internal presentation. Google is expected to roll out the generative AI features in the coming months.
Performance Max is an advertising service that the Alphabet Inc. unit debuted in 2020. It allows brands to run ads on Google Search, YouTube, Maps and several of the company’s other services. Performance Max already uses AI to reduce the amount of manual work involved in preparing marketing campaigns.
To use Performance Max, brands upload advertising copy, images and other creative assets. The service automatically assembles creative assets into ads. From there, Performance Max tests different versions of each ad until it finds the variation that drives the most sales.
The generative AI technology Google reportedly plans to integrate into the service will add more automation capabilities. In particular, it’s believed the technology can “remix” ad copy and other creative assets to improve their effectiveness. Performance Max will reportedly be capable of customizing ads for different audiences and sales goals.
A source familiar with Google’s plans expressed concern to the Financial Times that the tool could be used to spread misinformation. “It is optimized to convert new customers and has no idea what the truth is,” the source was cited as saying. In a statement, Google told the publication that it will equip the technology with guardrails to prevent such issues.
Meta Platforms Inc., Google’s top rival in the online advertising market, also plans to incorporate generative AI into its marketing tools. It formed a dedicated generative AI team in February. Last month, Meta Chief Technology Officer Andrew Bosworth stated that the company envisions using machine learning to customize ads for different audiences rapidly.
Bosworth disclosed that Meta plans to commercialize its generative AI technology by December. According to the Financial Times, the technology will become available as part of the Facebook parent’s Performance Advantage+ service. Similarly to Google’s Performance Max tool, the service uses machine learning to automate common marketing tasks.
Google, for its part, is applying generative AI not only in the ad market but also other areas.
The company is currently piloting a chatbot called Bard that can provide detailed natural language answers to search queries. Last month, Google announced plans to integrate generative AI features into its Workspace productivity suite. The company’s cloud unit, in turn, has introduced multiple services aimed at making it easier for developers to build generative AI applications.
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