Sunday, November 27, 2016

"The automation of creativity: scary but inevitable"

First they came for the journalists and I did not speak out-
Because I was not a journalist.

Then they came for the ad agency creatives and I did not speak out-
Because I was not an ad agency creative. (see below)

Then they came for the financial analysts and I
said 'hang on one effin minute'.

The Drum is all things marketing, Teads is venture-backed video advertising.

From the Drum, Oct. 27:
The Drum’s latest documentary, produced in association with Teads, ‘The Automation of Creativity’ explores the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in advertising.
Automation will claim 50% of all jobs in the next 30 years, according to Rice University professor Moshe Vardi, but creativity is impossible to automate, right? Adland will surely escape this robot advance?
Such a binary argument fails to take into account the huge leaps artificial intelligence (AI) and other such technologies are making. Why, when it is being used in film-making, music and even journalism, should advertising avoid the onslaught?
Vardi, who specialises in computational engineering, told the American Association for the Advancement of Science: “We are approaching a time when machines will be able to outperform humans at almost any task.”
Automation is set to transform this industry, and arguably for the better. Already we see in the media space the rise of programmatic trading, with many believing it will become the de facto model in coming years. But is tech also the future of creativity? As datasets get ever bigger and algorithms more intelligent, is it not naive to believe creative direction in advertising will remain a human-only pursuit?
In a quest to understand the role of AI in advertising, The Drum, in partnership with video advertising marketplace Teads, has launched a documentary, the Automation of Creativity, which was shot in Tokyo, London and Amsterdam.
The film explores how AI is beginning to impact the role of human creatives.
Martin Talks, founder of consultancy Matomico and former FCB digital chief, says: “There is a certain feeling in the creative industries that it won’t happen to us. That is not the case. AI is already having an impact on the advertising and creative industries – the robots are most definitely coming.
“The defence to that is really pushing ourselves more on creative, as brands and agencies. Clients need to be bolder and stop asking for big ideas while only funding small ones.”
Take the Cannes Lions festival. This year, the feeling was less that adtech had dominated the conversation as it had the previous year, and more that data-driven creativity, big data and technology are starting to shape conversations.
Among the big winners was J Walter Thompson’s ‘The Next Rembrandt’ – a 3D printed painting consisting of 148m pixels distilled from all 346 of Rembrandt’s paintings. The project saw a group of art historians, material researchers, data scientists and engineers take on what many considered a controversial challenge – teaching a machine to think, act and paint like Rembrandt.
Created for banking client ING with Microsoft, it won 16 Lions including Grands Prix in Cyber and Creative Data, and a prized Innovation Lion.

2016 also saw the arrival of the world’s first artificial creative director, AI-CD ß. Created by McCann Erickson Japan under its Creative Genome Project, it might have been a headline grabber but has already been pressed into commercial action for Mondelēz Japan with a campaign for Clorets Mint Tab.

Shun Matsuzaka, the creative planner behind the initiative, says he was inspired by the thought that the industry – for all its talk of data-driven creativity – felt immune from the rise of AI when other creative industries such as film, music and publishing were actively exploring its potential. “Why are we not doing it in the ad industry?” he asks.

A decade’s worth of award-winning work has been inputted into its database and tagged by hand. The team then created algorithms to set the creative direction, with AI-CD ß tasked to crunch its dataset from client briefs.

A third campaign that got the ad world thinking was a digital poster by M&C Saatchi, Clear Channel and Posterscope for fictional coffee brand Bahio.
Billed the world’s first AI advert, the premise was that the poster could ‘read’ the reactions of its audience and adapt accordingly. Fed an initial ‘gene pool’ of images and copy, with 22 ads created in each generation, at each stage the poster assessed the success, or otherwise, of the ad, identifying winners to iterate in its next generation....MORE