For many people, artificial intelligence might still sound like the stuff of science fiction or space exploration.
But, at Leeds-based integrated marketing communications agency Home, the future is already here.
Home has become the first agency in the UK to launch a dedicated artificial intelligence (AI) optimisation team, headed up by Neill Horie.
Its move is a response to the growing popularity of AI assistant software such as Amazon Alexa and the accompanying rise of voice search technology found in hardware like the Amazon Echo.
Members of the team are carrying out significant research into AI assistants and the ways in which people use voice or conversational search tools differently to traditional search boxes.
Home will use the findings to develop search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques that are specifically tailored to make the most of AI interactions.
Director of agency operations Dan Svikis said: “We’re continually looking at ways of innovating across the agency to help us deliver the very best for our clients.
“We believe artificial intelligence, especially in relation to SEO, is a significant opportunity for our clients’ brands to take advantage of.
“Many of our specialist teams have come together to really understand this opportunity and we’re thrilled to be the first agency to launch a dedicated team for artificial intelligence optimisation.”
Phill Midwinter, technology director at Home, added: “Artificial intelligence has been the recent subject of a 5,000 person restructure at Microsoft, it’s long been the real power behind Google’s search engine and has seen amazing growth in the last year thanks to new hardware like the Amazon Echo.
“AI optimisation is the cornerstone of a product set which we’re using to help clients understand how to deal with what can be a frustratingly complex and changing technology environment, drawing from technical and creative expertise across the agency.
“It’s fantastic to see this groundbreaking work made real and relatable.”
Founded in 2002 as an advertising and design agency, Home now has a head office in Leeds as well as sites in London, Edinburgh and Gibraltar.
It employs 200 staff and has a turnover of nearly £30m, with a client base that includes Jet2, Asda, Argos, Jaguar Land Rover and Interflora. Home is currently hiring AI and SEO staff, for more details visit the www.homeagency.co.uk/digital-agency-jobs web page.
AI assistant software, much of which is now voice operable, can answer basic queries as well as control smart home devices, such as lights.
It can also help with translations, offer weather and traffic details and deliver news updates.
The Yorkshire Evening Post recently launched its Digital City platform in partnership with Sky Betting & Gaming.
The platform is designed to highlight the giant strides being made by a sector that boasts around 3,000 organisations in Leeds.