Google will use artificial intelligence (AI) solutions in an effort to revamp its advertising system and serve "brand-safe" YouTube and Google Display ads, the Alphabet-owned company said in a statement given to Business Insider on Monday. The Mountain View-based tech giant is currently in the process of revising its content policies following a recent scandal that emerged after certain advertisers realized their promotional content is being displayed next to extremist and otherwise offensive YouTube videos. The newly announced AI-powered tools will not only be designed to allow advertisers more control over the kind of content next to which their ads will be displayed, but will also help YouTube enforce its new policies aiming to eliminate highly offensive content from its online video platform.
The recent ordeal led to more than 250 major brands pulling their YouTube ads and suspending their existing promotional campaigns on the Google-owned platform. While Google's own Philipp Schindler recently downplayed the advertiser boycott YouTube has been hit with, some analysts believe the controversy could result in Google losing over $750 million in ad revenue over the course of this year. Even if the Alphabet-owned Internet giant ends up missing out on only a fraction of that estimate, the company is understandably eager to resolve the situation as quickly as possible and convince its major clients to return their marketing budgets to the platform.
In addition to a new set of tools giving advertisers more control over their promotional campaigns and the aforementioned AI-powered solutions designed to identify potentially offensive content, Google is also looking to develop a brand safety reporting system in collaboration with independent analytics firms like comScore and Integral Ad Science, the company said. The tech giant has yet to provide a specific time frame for the rollout of the new service, but its representative revealed that testing will commence "shortly," implying Google might have more related news to share in the following weeks. Google's response to the YouTube advertiser boycott was relatively swift, but it remains to be seen whether the company manages to navigate through the recent ordeal relatively unscathed seeing how none of the big brands that started boycotting its advertising network in the last few weeks have yet returned to the platform.