Pinterest’s Use of AI Drives Growth

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In the Customer Experience report, we look at the many ways companies and consumers interact and how companies might make those experiences better for consumers. Previous coverage and new stories running this week can be found here.

Pinterest Inc. boosting its user and ad-revenue numbers at a much faster pace than most of its social-media peers—and it has artificial intelligence to thank for it.

The image-search site lets people post, or pin, photos and videos of things that interest them into collections called boards. The key to the site’s popularity is that it lets you discover ideas through images saved by people and brands you follow—and suggests other images that might be a good fit for you. You also get ads that follow your interests but carry a “promoted” tag.

If someone is interested in home improvement, for instance, the site will deliver pins and ads showing tools and remodeling ideas, says Brandon Purcell, a principal analyst at tech-research firm Forrester Research Inc.

The process of figuring out what people like and finding appropriate images happens without human intervention. It is handled by an advanced AI called a neural network that makes millions of calculations incredibly quickly to find pins to catch your eye.

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