What Philosophy can offer AI

We’re pleased to welcome Ron Chrisley as a speaker at our conference, Artificial Intelligence: The Future of Us.

ron_aiRon joins us with an impressive academic and AI background. He is currently the Director of the Centre for Cognitive Science (COGS) at the University of Sussex, where he is also on the faculty of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science. Prior to this he worked as an AI researcher in Silicon Valley (Stanford, NASA, RIACS and Xerox PARC), Japan and Finland. His research interests include natural and machine consciousness, artificial creativity and machine ethics.

We hand over to Ron to learn more about the relationship between Artificial Intelligence and Philosophy, which he will be speaking on. Ensure you register for tickets as spaces are limited.

Despite what you may have heard, philosophy at its best consists in rigorous thinking about important issues, and careful examination of the concepts we use to think about those issues.  Sometimes this analysis is achieved through considering potential exotic instances of an otherwise everyday concept, and considering whether the concept does indeed apply to that novel case — and if so, how.

In this respect, artificial intelligence (AI), of the actual or sci-fi/thought experiment variety, has given philosophers a lot to chew on, providing a wide range of detailed, fascinating instances to challenge some of our most dearly-held concepts:  not just “intelligence”, “mind”, and “knowledge”, but also “responsibility”, “emotion”, “consciousness”, and, ultimately, “human”.

But it’s a two-way street: Philosophy has a lot to offer AI too.

Examining these concepts allows the philosopher to notice inconsistency, inadequacy or incoherence in our thinking about mind, and the undesirable effects this can have on AI design.  Once the conceptual malady is diagnosed, the philosopher and AI designer can work together (they are sometimes the same person) to recommend revisions to our thinking and designs that remove the conceptual roadblocks to better performance.

This symbiosis is most clearly observed in the case of artificial general intelligence (AGI), the attempt to produce an artificial agent that is, like humans, capable of behaving intelligently in an unbounded number of domains and contexts

The clearest example of the requirement of philosophical expertise when doing AGI concerns machine consciousness and machine ethics: at what point does an AGI’s claim to mentality become real enough that we incur moral obligations toward it?  Is it at the same time as, or before, it reaches the point at which we would say it is conscious?  And at what points does it have moral obligations of its own? And is it moral for us to get to the point where we have moral obligations to machines?  Should that even be AI’s goal?

These are important questions, and it is good that they are being discussed more even though the possibilities they consider aren’t really on the horizon.  

Less well-known is that philosophical sub-disciplines other than ethics have been, and will continue to be, crucial to progress in AGI.  

It’s not just the philosophers that say so; Quantum computation pioneer and Oxford physicist David Deutsch agrees: “The whole problem of developing AGIs is a matter of philosophy, not computer science or neurophysiology”.  That “not” might overstate things a bit (I would soften it to “not only”), but it’s clear that Deutch’s vision of philosophy’s role in AI will not be limited to being a kind of ethics panel that assesses the “real work” done by others.

What’s more, philosophy’s relevance doesn’t just kick in once one starts working on AGI — which substantially increases its market share.  It’s an understatement to say that AGI is a subset of AI in general.  Nearly all, of the AI that is at work now providing relevant search results, classifying images, driving cars, and so on is not domain-independent AGI – it is technological, practical AI, that exploits the particularities of its domain, and relies on human support to augment its non-autonomy to produce a working system. But philosophical expertise can be of use even to this more practical, less Hollywood, kind of AI design.

The clearest point of connection is machine ethics.  

But here the questions are not the hypothetical ones about whether a (far-future) AI has moral obligations to us, or we to it.  Rather the questions will be more like this:

– How should we trace our ethical obligations to each other when the causal link between us and some undesirable outcome for another, is mediated by a highly complex information process that involves machine learning and apparently autonomous decision-making?  

– Do our previous ethical intuitions about, e.g., product liability apply without modification, or do we need some new concepts to handle these novel levels of complexity and (at least apparent) technological autonomy?

As with AGI, the connection between philosophy and technological, practical AI is not limited to ethics.  For example, different philosophical conceptions of what it is to be intelligent suggest different kinds of designs for driverless cars.  Is intelligence a disembodied ability to process symbols?  Is it merely an ability to behave appropriately?  Or is it, at least in part, a skill or capacity to anticipate how one’s embodied sensations will be transformed by the actions one takes?  

Contemporary, sometimes technical, philosophical theories of cognition are a good place to start when considering what way of conceptualising the problem and solution will be best for a given AI system, especially in the case of design that has to be truly ground breaking to be competitive.

Of course, it’s not all sweetness and light. It is true that there has been some philosophical work that has obfuscated the issues around AI, thereby unnecessarily hindering progress. So, to my recommendation that philosophy play a key role in artificial intelligence, terms and conditions apply.  But don’t they always?

LoopMe is a finalist at the Digiday Video Awards Europe

We are delighted to have been shortlisted in the Digiday Video Awards Europe in the category of ‘Best Video Ad Tech Innovation’ for PurchaseLoop!

The award recognises the best new or improved video tech innovation to deliver video content, measure or support video content, branded content or video advertising campaigns. We are delighted to have been recognised for our work in developing PurchaseLoop.

PurchaseLoop (patent pending) was launched in September 2016. It’s the first product to deliver mobile video campaigns against brand metrics like purchase intent, brand affinity and footfall.

We believe that mobile data allows attribution. With PurchaseLoop, artificial intelligence learns from consumer feedback to optimize video campaigns in real time.

By layering 1st and 3rd party data and AI, PurchaseLoop ensures video ads are delivered to consumers who display the highest probability of performing against the client’s brand objectives, whether this is to change their opinion about a brand, visit a store or increase purchase intent, and delivers the ad to these users.

In using artificial intelligence more impressions convert, meaning that the campaign is better value for agencies and brands. Typically brands receive uplifts 2 to 3 times larger when using PurchaseLoop optimization compared to a standard campaign. Find out more about PurchaseLoop. 

Check out the full list of shortlisted nominees here. See you at the awards ceremony!

The brand safe video solution

Following on from ‘methbots’ in 2016, brand safety has hit headlines once again. Due to a perceived persistent failure to take down extremist content in a timely manner, brands including M&S, HSBC, McDonald’s and Royal Mail are no longer advertising with Google as they are concerned that their ads are appearing alongside inappropriate content.

This rightly puts other video platforms in the spotlight to assess their brand safety measures. We would like to reassure our clients of our stringent internal and external processes to ensure brand safety.

Our platform is built to track and deliver 100% human traffic and viewability, in brand safe environments.

The technology identifies any ad requests which could potentially be non-human or in a non-safe environment (including content on premium sites e.g. news articles containing distressing content) and blocks these pre-bid, as soon as the request is received, well before an ad can be served.

Internally, we utilise a variety of methods. These include:

–       Pre-bid brand quality filters

–       Manual ad spot quality vetting

–       URL / video keyword blocks

–       Human verification for each app and mobile website on boarded

We also work with multiple external third party providers (IAS, Forensiq, Double Verify, Moat) to independently verify that your campaigns run in the right environments.

As the below image shows, our figures from Q1 indicate that our campaigns are viewable, brand safe and premium.

brand safety

If you have any questions about running advertising with LoopMe then please get in touch.



LoopMe Announces Netherlands Office

LoopMe, the world’s largest mobile video advertising platform, specializing in artificial intelligence and data, is expanding its European presence with an office in Amsterdam to service Benelux and The Nordics. The expansion comes a year after the launch of offices in Paris and Berlin.

Mobile advertising has grown 61% YOY in The Netherlands, with video accounting for 55% of the €358m display advertising spend in H1 2016. In the Nordics, mobile ad spend is expected to increase by up to 25% on last year. LoopMe aims to capitalize on this market growth, as it looks to continue its own ambitious growth strategy.

Marco Ruivenkamp, formerly Head of Digital at MEC, has been recruited to join as Country Manager Benelux and Nordics, to lead the company’s expansion. Ruivenkamp has over ten years’ industry experience working with international advertisers, media agencies and technology vendors, previously holding senior positions at Turn and Yahoo!

“LoopMe’s focus is on delivering an outstanding product to their clients and their technology is first-rate” said Ruivenkamp. “I am very excited to be bringing LoopMe’s mobile video offerings to Benelux and the Nordics for the first time”.

CEO & Co-Founder Stephen Upstone said “we have already run several successful campaigns within Beneluxe and the Nordics from our London office, opening a permanent office will allow us to continue to build our business in Europe. Marco is extremely well respected within the advertising industry in these markets and is the perfect person to lead our launch”.


Loopme, het grootste wereldwijde mobiele video  advertentie platform, dat is gespecialiseerd in artificial intelligence en data, heeft haar activiteiten uitgebreid in Europa. Het opent een kantoor in Amsterdam om de business in de Benelux en Scandinavië op te starten. Dit kantoor is het eerste nieuwe kantoor na de opening van de kantoren in Parijs en Berlijn in 2016. 

Mobiele advertenties zijn in het afgelopen jaar met 61% YoY gegroeid in Nederland. Online video heeft een groei van 55% YoY gerealiseerd en is nu al bijna 20% van de gehele online display advertentie uitgaven. In Scandinavië zien we een groei van 25% in mobiele advertentie uitgaven. Loopme is klaar om haar klanten te helpen de uitgaven van mobiel video op een professionele manier te ondersteunen. 

Marco Ruivenkamp, was hiervoor Head of Digital bij MEC Amsterdam, en is onlangs begonnen als Regional Director Benelux en Scandinavië, om deze verdere expansie te leiden. Ruivenkamp heeft meer dan 10 jaar ervaring in de online industrie en gewerkt met en voor internationale technologie providers, mediabureaus en adverteerders in verschillende senior posities bij o.a. Yahoo! en Turn.

Ruivenkamp: “Loopme heeft een product ontwikkelt in een sterk groeiend deel van onze industrie. Ik kijk er erg naar uit de Loopme mobiele video propositie te introduceren in de Benelux en Scandinavië.” 

CEO & Co-founder Stephen Upstone zegt; “We hebben vanuit ons kantoor in London al een aantal succesvolle campagnes gedraaid in de Benelux en Scandinavië. Nu we een eigen kantoor in Amsterdam openen kunnen we deze business verder uitbreiden. Marco is een gerespecteerd professional in de media-industrie in deze markten, en mede daarom de juiste persoon om ons kantoor in Amsterdam te leiden. 

First speakers announced for Artificial Intelligence: The Future of Us

As we write this, Artifical Intelligence dominates yet another industry event. First it was CES, then Mobile World Congress and now SXSW. Even the Vatican are speaking about it, with Bishop Tighe (who runs social media accounts for the Pope) musing about what a lack of work could do to our sense of self-worth although also stating: ‘Let’s not romanticise it – some of the work that might be displaced is fairly tough, dangerous work and fairly menial.’

While AI is front of mind at SXSW, it’s also topical for us, especially given our recent $10 million of funding for further investment in AI advertising technology.

Knowing the massive appetite for AI content and a lack of understanding within the market, our conference, Artificial Intelligence: The Future of Us comes to London on April 11th.

As well as our CEO, Stephen Upstone and Global VP Sales, Pete O’Mara-Kane, we’re excited to be joined by several amazing speakers from the agency and media world. These include:

–       Cameron Worth, Founder of SharpEnd, the agency of things

–       Alex Kozloff, Director of Marketing and Industry Engagement at the IAB

–       Lindsay Rowntree, Head of Content at ExchangeWire

–       Deirdre McGlashan, Chief Digital Officer at MediaCom

Find out more about the speakers here.

Alex Kozloff has guest blogged for us on what AI means for the digital advertising industry. Expect to hear more from our speakers in the coming weeks.

We’ve had unprecedented interest in this event, so ensure you RSVP before they sell out!


What does AI mean for the digital advertising industry?

Today we open the blog to Alex Kozloff, who is the recently announced, COO at the IAB.

alex_aiAlex has been named as the 3rd most influential person in mobile in The Drum’s 2015 “Mobile Top 50”, alongside being previously nominated in the Drum’s 30 women in digital under 30, and Media Week’s 30 under 30. Prior to the IAB, she worked at IPG media agency and managed media research at France Telecom owned Orange and Unanimis.

We are delighted to announce that Alex will be speaking at our conference, Artificial Intelligence: The Future of Us! Join us at The British Museum on April 11th. Ensure you RSVP as spaces are limited.

Keep an eye out for more speaker announcements coming soon!



AI is one of the hottest topics in the wider media at the moment, and we at the IAB are keeping a close eye on what it means for the advertising industry in particular.

AI is starting to become more valuable in automating planning, buying and optimising media spend as it allows brands to target more specifically to audiences and demographics. This leads to better conversion and of course, better success. According to the 2016 IAB/PwC Digital Adspend Study, 60% of display advertising in the UK was traded using programmatic direct and indirect technology

It’s not only the delivery of digital advertising which AI is already impacting, but with some brands the creative itself is benefitting from intelligent computing that can learn and adapt to serve more relevant ads to each consumer. One of my favourite examples of this dynamic creative optimization in action comes from the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. As this video explains, artificial intelligence helps stitch together a storyline which is highly relevant and targeted to each individual- whilst not coming across as creepy or overdone. I expect to see lots more of this in the future – AI helping the initial creative ideas and stories that we humans generate, providing us with the ultimate tool to help refine our creativity.

Lastly, a newer use of AI technology, chatbots, are the source of much discussion in the advertising industry. It’s still really early days to fully understand what bots, both in their voice and non voice forms, mean for how brands connect with their consumers. Taking one example- chatbots were launched for Facebook Messenger in April 2016, and since then over 30,000 chat bots have been developed for the platform. From Starbucks to Domino’s to smaller fashion retailers, brands have already been experimenting with what this technology means for selling products directly to consumers in the twenty first century.

There is so much potential in how AI can help digital advertising continue to grow, improve and change, it feels like we are very much at the beginning of the story. As with all technology, it’s what you do with it that counts, so I’ve no doubt the very big brains in our industry will keep thinking of ways to use this nascent technology to create new and exciting ways for brands to connect with people that will continue to surprise and delight us all.

Celebrating IWD

Today marks International Women’s Day, a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Find out more about the campaign.

At LoopMe, our workforce is 51% women. When we look to our senior management, the split is again 50 / 50.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the norm. In London, the Tech London Advisory council found that in almost half of technology companies, less than 25% of senior management roles are held by women. And in the US, research from Silicon Valley found just 11%  of women hold executive positions.

Encouragingly, there are women making great strides. We crowd-sourced through the office to pick some of our most inspirational women in technology, media and advertising. We’d also like to acknowledge other influences for our team here – Nicola Mendelsohn at Facebook, Claire Valotti who’s GM at Snap, Karen Blackett, Chairwoman at Mediacom UK, Susan Gianinno, Chairman at Publicis Worldwide and many more.

Here’s to these trailblazers and trendsetters.



1)   Ada Lovelace. Ada is a favourite in the LoopMe team, so much so that we named one of our offices after her. Her friendship with mathematician Charles Babbage, the inventor of the Difference Engine (a calculating machine) saw her translating some work for him from Italian to English. While she was translating she found that she understood the plans for the computing better than Babbage himself. She is often referred to as the first computer programmer and is regarded as a symbol for modern women in tech.

2) Kim Perell. CEO and President at Amobee. Before joining Amobee, Kim was the CEO of Adconion Direct, a global digital marketing company, which was acquired by Amobee in 2014.  Forbes covered her amazing boom to bust story in a profile, and her career and achievements have gone from strength to strength ever since.

2)    Barbara Liskov is a computer scientist at MIT. She was one of the first women to be granted a doctorate in computer science in the USA and won the Turing award in 2009 for her pioneering work in the computer programming. As our Technical Account Manager, Ezgi put it: she created a programming language that became the base of current programming languages we use.

3)    Sheryl Sandberg. COO of Facebook and founder of Lean In. After graduating from Harvard, she worked at the World Bank and for the Clinton administration, before joining Google as VP for Global Online Sales and Operations. While her business acumen is hugely impressive, her best selling book ‘Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to lead’ has sold over one million copies and has been instrumental in creating global pockets of ‘Lean In’ groups to help women achieve their goals.

4)    Joan Clarke, Betty Web and Mary Every. Bought to mainstream attention in The Imitation Game, this trio (although they didn’t know each other at the time) worked as code breakers during World War Two in Bletchey Park, UK. It’s estimated that their work saved thousands of lives and shortened the war by two years. Read more about their work here.

Debs of Bletchley Park book launch


5)    Mitchell Baker. Executive Chairwoman of the Mozilla Foundation, the non-profit organisation that exists to support and lead the open-source Mozilla project. She helped to pioneer open source internet applications. The Internet Hall of Fame praised her for proving ‘that the web should not belong to one company and one operating system.’

6)    Denise Coates. You may not know her by name, but she’s been named Britain’s highest paid businesswoman. She started out working in her father’s betting shops before training as an accountant and taking over these shops. Coates bought ‘Bet365.com’ and spend a year creating it prior to official launch in 2001 as the .com boom was taking off. Now it’s one of the world’s largest online gambling companies, and she’s the majority shareholder.

7)    #ThisGirlCan. Americans, if you haven’t seen this ad, then why not! After bursting onto our screens in 2015, the This Girl Can campaign was watched almost 100 million times, won more than 50 awards and helped convince nearly 3 million British women to become more active. Its second advert released in 2017 shows women exercising, but this time targets those who aren’t just concerned about appearance and athletic ability and face other barriers. Watch the ad here.

8)    Katherine Johnson. Another person propelled to further fame via film (Hidden Figures), Johnson is a physicist and mathematician. She worked as a ‘computer’ for NASA, calculating the trajectory for the first American space trips. John Glen refused to fly on his orbit around earth until Johnson verified electronic computer’s calculations. Johnson co-authored 26 scientific papers, all the while working in a state with federal workplace segregation, where Johnson and the other African-Americna women were required to work, eat and use restrooms separate to those of their white colleagues. In 2015, aged 97, Katherine Johnson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s higher civilian honor. The non-profit, Black Girls CODE are supporting #FutureKatherineJohnsons. Learn more here.

9) Kathryn Finney is an author, tech entrepreneur and TV correspondent. In 2012  she used personal funds to found digital undivided (DID) a social enterprise which finds, trains and supports innovative leaders and entrepreneurs. She also launched the FOCUS Fellows, a program for black female founders of developed (but at early stages) tech companies. 80% of new women led business are founded by Black and Latina women, yet they receive just 0.2% of venture funding. Since 2013 they’ve impacted over 2000 people and helped to raise $15MM in investment. Find out more. 

Katherine Johnson at NASA
Katherine Johnson at NASA



We hope you’ve learnt about a few more people who have changed our industry. Let us know your suggestions over on Twitter @LoopMe.

AI innovation at MWC

While the revival of the Nokia 3310 caused a huge buzz at Mobile World Congress, many companies exhibiting used MWC as an opportunity to launch their latest ventures into artificial intelligence. We’ve rounded up the top developments so you can stay in the loop.

Answering to Alexa

Japan’s largest messaging platform, Line, have launched their AI platform. At the heart is ‘Clova’, which is set to rival the likes of Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri. Unlike Alexa, Line is designed with the Asian markets at its heart. It’s expected to launch in the next few months, but only time will tell how it will impact against other major platforms.

screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-07-25-05Meanwhile, Google rolled out Google Assistant to Nougat and Marshmallow operating systems in the US, English speakers in Australia, Canada and the UK, as well as German speakers in Germany. It means users can access their devices with a verbal ‘OK, Google’ to take photos, browse through apps and get directions.

Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete, CEO at Telefónica explained on the main stage why their AI assistant, Aura is “more than” an assistant because of the control that customer will have over the platform.

These developments seem to support the views of  IBM fellow and CTO, Rob High who told TechCrunch: ‘Everybody and their mother is out to create their own specialized voice-activated devices’

Better customer experience 

Nexshop Training, from Samsung SDS is an AI-powered virtual assistant that will teach retail workers how to manage customers and their space. It will help staff learn more about products (for example, ‘what are the features on XYZ’.)

Aside from the training, there’s also a marketing system and a sales assistance system. It was developed to generate marketing strategy by observing customers in stores, while the sales assistance is meant to make inventory management and logistics easier so retailors have a deeper insight into their historical transactional data.

Training the next generation

It’s been a long time coming (since December 2015), but the UK government launched their Digital Strategy plan during MWC. They’re undertaking a major review of how AI affects the UK economy, led by computer scientist Dame Wendy Hall and Jerome Persenti, CEO of BenevolentAI. They also announced a £17.3 million commitment to fund research into robotics and AI at UK universities.

Planes, trains and automobiles 

Robocar is a self-driving electric AI car. The developers feed data into a platform capable of 24 trillion AI operations per second and the cars can exceed 320KPH!

Ford unveiled their latest concept; an electric self-driving delivery van that can launch a fleet of drones to pick up and drop off packages in hard-to-reach places. This comes off the back of Ford’s acquisition of the driving start-up, Argo AI for $1 billion.

If you’re interested in driverless cars, learn about what they can teach marketers in a piece written by LoopMe CEO, Stephen Upstone and published in Digital Marketing Magazine.

Why-not AI:

The Olay Skin Advisor uses AI to deliver a smart skin analysis and personalized product recommendations, apparently ‘taking the mystery out of shopping for skincare products’.



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