How to use AI for the benefit of creativity?

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How to use AI for the benefit of creativity?

Artificial intelligence could threaten some trades, not just textbooks, including marketing. AI have already started marketing and creating!

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In spring 2017, McCann's Japan-based advertising agency has launched the first artificial intelligence capable of creating advertising spots. Mondelez group, confectionery giant (Lu, Milka, Oreo) was their first customer to choose between the work of an AI and that of a creative human. Result: the executives of Mondelez have unanimously acclaimed … the spot made by the computer. The creative planner of the agency, Shun Matsuzaka, had to be traversed by a strange thrill … At the same time, in Europe, Belgians from the DDB agency have developed "Pearl", the first IA sweep of publicity, unveiled at the 2017 Mixx Awards. The APAR viral video content site, meanwhile, gave life to Steve Oklyn, an AI intended to replace, once and for all, fashion critics. Before, we would have thought of com 'shots. Yes, but that was before.

In the spring of 2018, most marketing leaders have so heavily invested in creative artificial intelligence. In May 2018, Publicis launched its Marcel platform to help its 80,000 employees create new content that is as close as possible to their customers' expectations. "Our sector must reinvent itself completely", says Arthur Sadoun, CEO of Publicis Groupe, adding that Marcel offers his creative minds "The opportunity to grow and flourish in a changing sector".

The same month, Tamara Ingram, CEO of international branding agency J.Walter Thompson, announces, in an internal memo, its intention not to replace their former artistic director Matt Eastwood, preferring "the use of technology to evaluate creative concepts in their early stages". From there to believe that an AI will succeed Eastwood, there is only one step. A step that Camilla Kemp, DA of the British advertising agency M & C Saatchi, is tempted to cross. The latter affirms indeed to the journalists of Business Insider, that "we will soon be able to say goodbye to the copywriters", whose AI would already do the job "brilliantly".

Artistic Intelligences

In 2004, in his Manifesto of Symbiotic Art, the Portuguese artist Leonel Moura, predicted the advent ofrobot-artists "born from the proto-biotic soup of robotics and artificial life". He prophesied then that "the great artists of the future will be our machines and that the future of art goes through the symbiotic between human artist and artiste ". Fifteen years later, deep learning (a deep computer learning, comparable to that of the human brain), has freed the creative potential of AI, now able to "make the artist".

Do the artist? Yes, like The Next Rembrandt: a computer built by Microsoft to paint canvases, imitating Rembrandt's style. Or as the Artistic Intelligence of the French collective Obvious, whose portrait of Edmond de Belamy auctioned at Christies' for the modest sum of $ 432,000, in the fall of 2018.

Currently, "when we look at the works of artificial intelligences, we are rather reassured for the future of artists and artistic directors"says Xavier Urity, Freelance Art Director for luxury brands like Dior. Indeed, most of the masterpieces inspired by the algorithms are imbued with this Nikoleta Kerinska named "the ingenuous beauty of automatic creation" in his thesis on Art and Artificial Intelligence (2014). An ingenuity that, until now, has given aesthetically … disturbing results. Indeed, even if, in terms of art, tastes and colors are not discussed, Xavier Urity notes "In terms of design or marketing, there are certain canons to respect … that seem to escape AI".

Cannons apparently unknown to "Muze project" : an haute couture AI launched by Google and Zalando in 2016, whose calculations led to a collection of flashy pajamas and incoherent assemblies. Heartbreaking. The same year, the short film Sunspring scripted by artificial intelligence, and directed by Oscar Sharp, had disappointed the viewer. An example ? In the middle of the film fell this surrealist replica: "You should see the boy and shut up, I'm the one supposed to be five years old".

More recently, in the spring of 2018, the press criticized the colorful but meaningless visions of the Poetic Artificial Intelligence designed by the comic agency 'Turque Ouuuch' for the inauguration of the Atelier des Lumières, a center for digital art installed in the heart of the XI arrondissement of Paris.

"AI will not replace the creative ones, but … "

These failures are explained by the fact that, according to Xavier Urity, "Creation is always in the realm of human intelligence". An analysis confirmed by Stéphane Amarsy, author of My Marketing Director will be an algorithm (ed Kawa, 2017): "Artificial intelligence stays in imitation, not in creation. Because true creation is irrational, which is impossible for our "weak" AIs. At least for the moment. We'll talk about it in 20 years if you want! ". "By then, he adds, the AI ​​will not replace the creative ones, but will make their ideas more operational and effective.". He imagines a hybridization between human and artificial intelligences. So, "lIA will be able to produce visual or video drafts, from which artistic directors will begin their creative work". An assumption that Gilles Fichteberg, co-founder and creative director of the advertising agency Rosapark, considers quite plausible. "By compiling hundreds, even thousands, of advertisements, we could very well manage to generate prefabricated stories and storyboards". In fact, some of Fox's blockbuster trailers are already composed by an IBM AI named Watson. "But, tempère Gilles Fichteberg, at Rosapark, the premache can not be a basis of work. To free oneself from pre-existing schemes, to innovate constantly: here is the added value of the human and what will advance the advertising industry ".

Dynamic Creative Optimization

So you can blow: the big replacement by the machines is not for tomorrow. We are moving towards an amplification, a boost of human creativity, by the phenomenal computing capabilities of computers. There are, in fact, other ways to use artificial intelligence that "can make creative ideas more effective", announces Jean-Baptiste de Besombes, Business Manager within the Biborg agency, of the DCO (Dynamic Creative Optimization).

Concretely, "with this technology, the AI ​​will automatically promote the most powerful versions of a videoin terms of clicks or conversion rates, for example. It is thus possible that the algorithm reacts to the evolution of a football game, adapting prepared content to the evolution of the score or events of the match. Other options will also make it possible to display different content depending on the weather, or if such a geolocated mobile application approaches a store ".

COD can also go much further by composing custom content itself. "Concretely, explains Prajwal Barthur, director of the Indian agency InMobi, on our COD platform, there are eight variations of a content, with a set of targeting features that can combine up to 200 different creatives. With artificial intelligence, we can actually customize the creation in real time according to the content that appears on the web page [un article, un site e-commerce, une vidéo, NDLR]. This adds a new dimension to creation ".

However, Jean-Baptiste de Besombes is aware that "Ads generated by AI are very often" creatively poor "productionsbecause limited in animations and effects. It is therefore important that creative agencies take full ownership of this technology in order to improve the quality of advertising. He also wishes to point out that "we are still at the stage where human intervention is mandatory because the digital environment remains a little standardized ecosystem, with a lot of constraints: I am thinking in particular of data protection which strongly limits the capabilities of automated targeting".

Not to be pessimistic or alarmist: despite tens of billions of dollars in investment in artificial intelligence (the International Data Corporation expects 46 billion by 2020), human creativity and the sense of beauty will remain long rare and appreciated foods in the world of marketing and communication … at least until the ultimate singularity.