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A Blessing and a Boogeyman: Advertisers Warily Embrace A.I.

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Digital Jennifer Lopez.

A Virgin Voyages campaign using artificial intelligence allowed users to prompt a digital avatar of Jennifer Lopez to issue tens of thousands of customized video invitations to a cruise.

Credit: Virgin Voyages

The advertising industry is in a love-hate relationship with artificial intelligence.

In the past few months, the technology has made ads easier to generate and track. It is writing marketing emails with subject lines and delivery times tailored to specific subscribers. It gave an optician the means to set a fashion shoot on an alien planet and helped Denmark's tourism bureau animate famous tourist sites. Heinz turned to it to generate recognizable images of its ketchup bottle, then paired them with the symphonic theme that charts human evolution in the film "2001: A Space Odyssey."

A.I., however, has also plunged the marketing world into a crisis. Much has been made about the technology's potential to limit the need for human workers in fields such as law and financial services. Advertising, already racked by inflation and other economic pressures as well as a talent drain due to layoffs and increased automation, is especially at risk of an overhaul-by-A.I., marketing executives said.

From The New York Times
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