Visual Search and Augmented Reality – Jes Scholz

Jes Scholz is International Digital Director at Ringier AG. I wanted to ask Jes about her work at Ringier as she is working across a portfolio of brands and looking into AI for some of her global clients.

What has been the biggest change in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR)?

We are beginning to demystifying what the term “AI” actually means, especially in marketing. This is shown by the industry beginning to use more precise terms which describe the application of AI, whether this be machine learning in content personalisation algorithms, natural language processing in chatbots, computer vision for search by camera, or something else. AI technologies have been around since the 1950’s, but now we have the understanding and tools for marketer to begin to apply it in their strategies
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We are now beginning to see the shifts in AR marketing from a fad (think Pokemon Go) or a gimmick (think branded SnapChat filters) to something with real purpose. Best practice applications of AR are giving users a reason to look through their phone, rather than at it. This visualisation within their environment is truly powerful to drive conversions and we are seeing some interesting applications come from leasing brand in various sectors.

How did you get into this line of work?

I’ve always been interested in the future of search – that has naturally led me to these fields. How can you SEO for the Google Algorithm, an AI, without an in-depth understanding of AI?

Can you expand on your presentation about the type of players investing in image recognition. For example are these just the large brands or will we see the smaller brands break through? What do you think we will see change in 2018?

The list encompasses all types. Search engines like Google and Bing. Social networks like Pinterest and Facebook. eCommerce giants like Amazon, Wayfair and Target. Marketplaces websites like eBay and AliExpress. But also smaller brands are getting traction by using image recognition APIs. In 2018, I believe we will see more brands understand image recognition is accessible to any brand and begin to leverage search by camera functionality, which will begin to eat into the more traditional keyword based searches when an item or idea is hard to describe in words.

How do you think the SERPs will change due to visual search? Are we going to see something similar to the Google Answer Box?

SERPs have already changed thanks to visual search. We are seeing images and videos in web search results. 11% of searches have image blocks. But most significantly, Google Images has undergone dramatic changes since mid 2017. Google has a clear plan and visual search is key to it’s execution. Keep a close eye on it as they roll out Google Lens. This technology will heavily impact our industry.
Thank you Jes for taking part in the interview for Search Elite. We look forward to seeing you on June 6th !

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