November 22, 2017

Curious Season 6: Artificial Ideas


The next instalment of Curious Season 6 will see us turn our attention to the growing impact of Artificial Intelligence on the dark arts of creativity. In anticipation of Thursday’s talk – which will see us joined by guest speakers from Google Zoo, Lobster, and the Lovie Awards – this blog takes a look at some of the interesting ways in which AI is already affecting the creative output of both the communications and entertainment industries. The following examples highlight how the technology is predominantly being applied in three main ways – to streamline creative production, to optimise creative performance, and even sometimes to generate the creative idea itself.


In terms of leveraging AI for creative production, 20th Century Fox partnered with IBM’s Watson supercomputer to create the first ever AI-generated movie trailer for their sci-fi horror flick ‘Morgan’. Through the analysis of visuals, sounds and scene compositions taken from a library of existing horror movie trailers,  Watson was able to identify scenes in Morgan that would provide a similarly chilling effect. Armed with these recommendations, editors were then able to skip the research prep work  (often the most time-consuming part of the process) and move straight into crafting the final cut of the trailer. The efficiencies derived from using Watson’s AI meant that a production timeline which can typically take weeks was revised down to just 24 hours.

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Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

With regard to creative optimisation, the cost benefits of using AI marketing systems such as ‘Albert‘ can be significant.  This platform is capable of rapidly testing creative combinations and subsequently optimizing media spend towards the best performing executions. The Italian lingerie company Cosabella is an example of one brand that has managed to leverage its potential to great effect. By optimizing the brand’s entire campaign archive, studying audience interactions and click-through-rate, Albert was able to gain an unparalleled understanding of the target market, and set about serving bespoke messages to different users. Off the back of this, Cosabella saw an increase in search and social return-on-ad-spend by 50% within the first month alone.

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Image Credit: Cosabella

Lastly, AI has also been used as a means of generating creative concepts. A notable example of this is Dove’s innovative campaign which sought to draw attention to society’s unrealistic expectation of mothers. By scanning over 1,800 images of motherhood across social media, magazines, and newspapers, AI technology was then able to render a photo-realistic image of what it considered to be “the perfect mum”.  The provocative campaign successfully stirred-up debate in the wider media, and showcased how AI could be deployed as a means of both generating and illustrating the creative idea.

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Image Credit: Dove

So there you have it, Artificial Intelligence is already playing a significant role in sharpening the creative output across various industries and this trend looks set to continue as agencies and clients alike become increasingly attuned to its potential.   If you want to learn more about this topic, join us in the reception at 9am on Thursday 23rd November, where our guest speakers will be debating the pros and cons of outsourcing creativity to our computational colleagues.

Until then, stay curious!

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Team Curious

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