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IAB AI Working Group to Establish Artificial Intelligence Standards

IAB Outlook: 2021 Digital Ad Ecosystem

Releases 2021 guide on AI use cases and best practices distilled from publishers, agencies, and ad tech

NEW YORK (March 9, 2021) – The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the national trade association for the digital media and marketing industries, is focusing its AI Standards Working Group to develop artificial intelligence (AI) standards, best practices, use cases, and terminologies in an effort to scale AI and enable the industry on its full potential. The group is newly co-chaired by IBM Watson Advertising and Nielsen.

The first release of 2021, “Artificial Intelligence Use Cases and Best Practices for Marketing,” will help executive leaders, marketers, and technologists get the most from AI, and do it responsibly.

Created for those already working with AI or looking to leverage it in their business, this guide draws directly from the real-world experience of co-chairs IBM Watson Advertising and Nielsen as well as top publishers, agencies, and ad tech companies in the industry. It’s not an ivory tower overview of AI: it’s a specific guide for what to do for executives that are in the thick of it.

The marketing industry has a compelling need for a set of agreed-upon standards that will set the course for leveraging AI across the open web. With the industry facing transformation on every front, setting the right foundation for AI is critical.

“AI is the only technology that can keep up with the petabytes of data that are the hallmark of successful digital marketing playbooks today,” said Angelina Eng, Vice President, Measurement & Attribution, Programmatic+Data Center, IAB. “But AI should not be blindly trusted. The IAB AI Standards Working Group is helping define the groundwork and best practices the industry needs to ensure privacy, measurement, and addressability. Ultimately, this will lead to creating agreed-upon standards.”

The guide includes nine use cases spanning internal robotic process automation and data migration for agencies to AI use cases for creative, contextual, video, and beyond.

As just one example, AI is critical in the journey to stitch together the fractured media ecosystem. It’s no longer the case that all media come through a single TV at home. Every household is now full of individuals with multiple devices, applications, and accounts that are shared, used independently, or all together.

“We’ve created similar playbooks that leverage AI for industries facing significant disruption. We are excited about today’s announcement and the contributions we know AI can offer digital media as it navigates unprecedented disruption,” said David Olesnevich, Head of Product, IBM Watson Advertising, and IAB AI Standards Working Group Co-Chair. “The work of the IAB AI Standards Working Group and the greater AI Standards’ Guide ensures that industry collaboration will be at the forefront of innovation when scaling this advanced technology across the open web.”

The unique insights in the guide are driven by conversations about real-world challenges faced daily by the industry’s biggest brands. It provides a practical understanding of what works and what doesn’t, helping to illuminate what’s possible now.

“With the increasing fragmentation of media and the proliferation of devices, measuring audience reach is harder than ever, “said Mainak Mazumdar, Chief Data & Research Officer, Nielsen, and IAB AI Standards Working Group Co-Chair. “But with high-quality training data such as panels and device signals, AI can be used to develop identity to better understand and measure who is using the device, app, or account as well as correct for biases due to co-viewing and device sharing.”

The guide is the result of a unique collaboration that brings together AI and machine learning (ML) thought leaders and expert practitioners from the industry’s top publishers, agencies, and ad tech companies and is aimed at technologically sophisticated executives already racing ahead with AI.

The AI Use Cases and Best Practices for Marketing guide, which can be downloaded at, will help executives separate AI hype from reality, identify the keys to success, and build future-ready brands, agencies, and ad tech organizations.

About IAB
The Interactive Advertising Bureau empowers the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy. Its membership comprises more than 650 leading media companies, brands, and the technology firms responsible for selling, delivering, and optimizing digital ad marketing campaigns. The trade group fields critical research on interactive advertising, while also educating brands, agencies, and the wider business community on the importance of digital marketing. In affiliation with the IAB Tech Lab, IAB develops technical standards and solutions. IAB is committed to professional development and elevating the knowledge, skills, expertise, and diversity of the workforce across the industry. Through the work of its public policy office in Washington, D.C., the trade association advocates for its members and promotes the value of the interactive advertising industry to legislators and policymakers. Founded in 1996, IAB is headquartered in New York City.

IAB Media Contacts
Kate Tumino / Britany Tibaldi
212-896-1252 / 347-487-6794
[email protected]  / [email protected]