if you build it, they may come — advertising AI execs ?

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Photo credit: Cristian Andrei Matei
Original: c/net news.com

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Facebook is now valued at $15 billion by many estimates. Soon the young company will have to prove it’s really worth it.

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“… Facebook is expected to unveil its new advertising strategy on the heels of an expanded advertising partnership and $240 million investment from Microsoft. … experts say that to build its own ad serving system, Facebook must figure out how to serve the right ads to the right people in real time.

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“There’s no question Facebook is sitting on a data goldmine, with an exhaustive amount of information on people’s preferences, backgrounds, and social histories–all given voluntarily by members. Facebook has profiles that include people’s favorite music, television shows, books, and hobbies; their job history, education, birth date, and marital status; as well as daily activities, social networks, and interest groups. Traditional ad networks would kill for all that information in one place.

“But with that data comes some interesting machine learning problems, experts say.

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Machine learning is a broad term in the field of artificial intelligence [see, see]. It refers to developing algorithms that can discover patterns in data and learn from them. Google, for example, has used probabilistic Bayesian models to serve results to data searches based on keywords. With advertising, it’s all about matching the right person to the right ad. And on an individual level, that’s a tall order.

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Machine learning in online advertising might involve trying many different techniques on affinity groups to figure out which work best. That’s because no one obvious technique is the silver bullet for social networks–no one has solved the problem of serving ads in that setting before. … ” (full article)

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Newcomb’s commentary: “I’m working to improve my methods, and every hour I save is an hour added to my life.” Ayn Rand

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