Advertising & AI: Awarded Intelligence

Imagine this.

You’re at the Cannes Lions International Festival for Creativity. In about 10 years. As champagne flows and flows, rumours grow and grow. Finally it’s discovered that the Grand Prix winning campaign was created by an artificial intelligence system.

What happens then?

Do they disqualify the campaign — like a cyborg would be disqualified at the Olympics?

Does the planning department get the award?
They were the people that asked the right questions to get the right answers.

Do the Creative Directors win the award?
They chose to action the concept the system conceived.

Do the software developers win?
They made the thing, that made the thing, that won the award.

The real question isn’t if this will happen, but when this will happen.

Because our world has become a world where artificial intelligence and deep learning breakthroughs are the new Moore’s Law.

 
 Art direction, blue. Copywriting, green. Creative technologist, red. Strategic planning, yellow.

Art direction, blue. Copywriting, green. Creative technologist, red. Strategic planning, yellow.

From speculative stuff like IBM’s Watson, Google’s DeepMind and Facebook’s DeepFace, to consumer facing things like Apple’s Siri or Google Now, innovation gallops ahead.

We should stop thinking about creativity as a uniquely human vocation. It’s hubristic and arrogant at best, and prideful and ignorant at worst.

We need, as an industry that’s champions the power of ideas, as an advertising industry, to keep that in mind.

Creativity is just a new combination of existing things. And that sounds like something a system could get better at over time…

A lot of people might find this future to be cold and oppressive. But think about the potential for big, new ideas to be developed.

A future that, ironically, thanks to computer systems, is more humane, and beautiful, because of those systems.

But not everything will change.

There will always be champagne at Cannes…

This originally appeared on Medium.