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The Rise of the Intelligent Assistant



INFLUENCER: Fuad Ahmad explores JukeDeck, LogoJoy and Adobe Sensei in first of Publicis One's AI series

The Rise of the Intelligent Assistant

On June of 2016, the UK start-up JukeDeck won a Cannes Innovation Lion for the artificial intelligent music composer they developed that generates original music for anyone who needs a royalty-free soundtrack for their video content. Anyone can visit the Jukedeck site, type in a few desired characteristics for the kind of sounds they want, and then Jukedeck’s AI will produce a complete and polished piece of original music that people can do whatever they want with. Vóila! Your YouTube video now features an original soundtrack that you own! Jukedeck’s AI composer is using machine learning to continually refine its craft and develop better quality compositions, and the instrumental music generated by this AI platform is usually indistinguishable from anything made by human hands.

At the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity this year, Adobe executive Chris Duffey demonstrated Adobe Sensei, the artificial intelligence the company is developing that will underpin its Adobe Cloud Platform. Adobe Sensei, the company’s website declares, will “dramatically improve the design and delivery of digital experiences.” Duffey demonstrated to his audience of dedicated Adobe users how Sensei functions: imagine you’ve been asked to produce some content with a person and a dog. You can specifically tell Sensei to find an image or video of a man (or a woman) and a dog, and then you can direct Sensei to find the specific layout you might want, with the human on the left and the dog on the right, or vice versa. Plug these specs and others into a search interface and Adobe Sensei will scan the Adobe Cloud and then serve up a rich selection of material that perfectly matches what you need. In a different era you might have had to conduct a photo shoot to produce the exact image your campaign needed. The efficiency at the heart of this platform is based on machine learning. Adobe Sensei can tag and interpret images, recognise facial characteristics, read documents and analyse their content, and it uses all that knowledge to help people produce work faster. This artificial intelligence will soon be woven into all future iterations of the Adobe Creative Suite, and as Duffey told his audience, Sensei is “an underlying component of everything we´re doing and will do at Adobe.”  

In yet another AI-focused keynote speech delivered at Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity 2017, Contagious editor Alex Jenkins and SapientRazorfish ECD Christopher Follett presented “The Cognitive Creativity Playbook,” walking their audience through the ways a multitude of bots, AI platforms, and machine learning algorithms are transforming the creative industry. They showcased on example called LogoJoy, a website service that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning of graphic design practices to craft original logos for anyone in need of a corporate identity. Users enter a few details about the kind of company they are, they pick a colour palette, choose from a few symbolic visuals what they feel best reflects their brand, and then the AI at the heart of LogoJoy produces an entire corporate identity in a matter of minutes. A ripple of unease passed over the audience as the presenters demonstrated the rapid iteration of this logo, and pointed out how this kind of technology will inevitably transform the field of graphic design. The work produced by LogoJoy was seemingly indistinguishable from something made by a person. Or was it? 

Anyone working in the creative industries knows intuitively what constitutes human creativity. It’s unlikely that experts in creative fields would characterise the products churned out by these rapidly evolving intelligent assistants as “inspiring,” or “brilliant” or “original.” The bots do not yet know how to make disruptive work. Built on databanks of historical materials and designed to function within the parameters of acceptable practices, these AIs primarily churn out functional, purpose-driven executions that will most likely be ignored by the world’s ever more selective audiences. But from the perspective of creative professionals, many clients only want functional, purpose-driven work that will likely be ignored. It is a different kind of client who demands that unique, original spark of human creativity infusing their work and making it stand out amongst a sea of forgettable messaging. It is a different kind of client that demands work that is more than the merely functional.  

At Publicis Groupe / Publicis One, we have clients who believe in that kind of human creativity. These are the kinds of clients we have worked with for decades. This is the kind of organisation that we are. The people we hire to fill our companies are those people filled with that kind of irrepressible vitality and energy, whose stories are rich with deep insights and coloured by the unexpected and unpredictable, and whose work is shaded with that elusive magic that you find at the beating heart of the best ideas. While we strongly believe creativity will always be rooted in human imagination, we also believe that the future demands that we adapt to new technology. We believe in giving our people the tools they need to evolve, the platforms they need to work faster, and the opportunities they are looking for to collaborate and co-create a better world. Hence, we have embraced machine learning, and are looking to introduce artificial intelligence into our global ecosystem and workflow in order to improve our services and our products. It is not a question of man versus machine. We believe the future lies with those who can embrace both. 

Fuad Ahmad is the Director of Creative Resources at Publicis One

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Publicis Worldwide, Mon, 03 Jul 2017 09:56:39 GMT