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It won’t surprise anyone interested in search advertising to read a Financial Times report last week that that Google plans to introduce generative artificial intelligence into its advertising business over the coming months. Apparently, an internal presentation said that advertisers will be able to supply images, video and text relating to a particular ad campaign, and the AI will then use this material to generate ads based on the target audience, along with sales targets.

It remains to be seen whether this is a major new development in Google Ads, or just a nice new label being put on what we’ve been offered for some time. I expect it’s somewhere in between. There are already options within Google Ads that give the system leeway to create content for us. Given that it’s quite possible right now to ask existing AI services to write a series of advert headlines and descriptions to fit certain parameters, that assistive service at least will surely be added to the tools we’re given as advertisers.

To overcome concerns that turning over the copy to the machine could confidently assert falsehoods, Google said that it intends to implement strict safeguards to prevent such errors. But somehow I don’t think those of us who manage search advertising, whether it’s for our own company or for clients, will be letting go of control and oversight for a while yet.