Welcome to The Week in Generative AI, a new weekly column for marketers from Quad Insights that quickly sums up emerging developments surrounding tools such as ChatGPT and Bard, while also offering the latest details on how generative AI tools are being incorporated into advertising products and workflows.

Google goes big with generative AI

It was a dramatic week for generative AI, thanks to major announcements from Google and Meta.

MIT Technology Review arguably summed up the Google news best with its story headlined “Google is throwing generative AI at everything.”

As the publication’s Melissa Heikkilä reports of the announcements made Wednesday at Google’s annual I/O conference, “Google is stuffing powerful new AI tools into tons of its existing products and launching a slew of new ones, including a coding assistant…. Billions of users will soon see Google’s latest AI language mode, PaLM 2, integrated into over 25 products like Maps, Docs, Gmail, Sheets, and the company’s chatbot, Bard. For example, people will be able to simply type a request such as ‘Write a job description’ into a text box that appears in Google Docs, and the AI language model will generate a text template that users can customize.”

Additional takes:

+ From the horse’s mouth: “Supercharging Search with generative AI” (Google’s official blog post about the updates)

Also, it’s worth noting that investors are quite pleased. Google parent Alphabet’s stock popped in the wake of the I/O conference, and Barron’s says that the search giant is stealing heat from the likes of ChatGPT developer OpenAI: “Google Has Already Turned the Tables. How It Took Back the AI Narrative.”

Meta deploys generative AI in its ad platform

A day after Google’s I/O conference, Meta grabbed some attention of its own with the launch of AI Sandbox.

Ad Age’s Garett Sloane calls it “a testing ground for brands to apply generative AI to text and images in campaigns that appear in feeds and videos on Facebook and Instagram. So far, AI can help automate some image touch-ups, including switching backgrounds on ads that contain pictures of products, but Meta executives envision more sophisticated uses. AI-generated text will be used to personalize messages in ads, too.”

Sloane also reports that “Meta did not say how many advertisers were applying generative AI to their campaigns, describing it as a ‘small group,’ with plans to roll out to more advertisers in July.”

Additional takes:

+ From the horse’s mouth: “Introducing the AI Sandbox for advertisers and expanding our Meta Advantage suite” (Meta’s own announcement)

Since we mentioned Google’s stock pop, we’ll also note this: “Meta Platforms Inc. stock underperforms Friday when compared to competitors,” as MarketWatch reports.

Further reading

Thanks for reading — and see you next Friday.