Driving Levers for Change

Harriet says this issue is important because “digital advertising is a booming industry: worth over $300 billion in 2019 alone. It’s also the primary business model sustaining the internet, humanity’s most important communications tool. But as AI-powered advertising grows more pervasive and sophisticated, it is doing so without guardrails. There are few rules to ensure it doesn’t surveil, misinform, or exclude consumers. If the industry doesn’t undergo major reform, these problems will only grow more pronounced.”

Harriet’s impact, in her own words

My report, AI & Advertising: A Consumer Perspective[1], used the Consumers International Digital Trust Framework to identify seven major threats that AI-powered ads present to consumers, from discrimination to misinformation. Many of these harms will be fundamentally changed or exacerbated by the addition of machine learning, or emotional recognition to ad creation and targeting, particularly in countries without data protection legislation. Some of the most disturbing findings include:

This research also uncovered a multitude of initiatives, law-suits, products and technologies aimed at fixing or combatting these harms, but a lack of proactive planning for an AI enhanced advertising future. It calls for mediated cross-disciplinary forums to be created, which place human rights on equal footing with commercial issues.”

Coverage of Harriet’s work
How you can take action with Harriet

If you work for an organisation with an advertising spend, get them to sign up to The Conscious Advertising Network[2]. If you create AI for advertising or use AI in your advertising, and are concerned about the consequences, get in touch.

What Harriet is doing next

She will be working on climate denial and how it is being funded and enabled by advertising. She is working with a team of researchers, brand safety experts, and social media specialists to create guidance on how we communicate about climate in a more inclusive way, and fight back against the misinformation. If you’d like to know more, get in touch here[3].

Finally, what change Harriet has seen as a result of the fellowship?

From COVID misinformation, to Black Lives Matter, to the Stop Hate For Profit campaign, advertising as a funding model for the web has become a hot topic in 2020.


  1. ^ AI & Advertising: A Consumer Perspective (www.harrietkingaby.com)
  2. ^ The Conscious Advertising Network (www.consciousadnetwork.org)
  3. ^ here (mediabounty.com)

Source: Mozilla

February 18, 2021
Category : Marketing

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Senior Software Developer

Creator of @LzoMedia I am a backend software developer based in London who likes beautiful code and has an adherence to standards & love's open-source.