Yesterday, VCCP’s Partnership CEO and CEO of faith, Michael Sugden, was interviewed on Sky News Ian King Live, BBC World News and CNBC about the advertising industry’s place with regard to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how despite the warning signs for the future of humankind we believe that it will mean a boom for creativity and business.
Speaking on behalf of the UK’s biggest creative agency by billings and VCCP’s new dedicated AI creative agency faith, Michael unpacks how AI can be a great accelerator of human creativity. Michael begins by outlining how new technologies are often greeted by prophecies of doom about mass job losses, but history shows that they are often overstated. Michael states, “I think that’s because it’s easier to imagine existing jobs that may be lost rather than jobs that haven’t yet been created”. Using VCCP as an example, Michael outlined how compared to when the agency launched, two-thirds of our employees are in jobs now that didn’t exist when we launched in 2002.
Regarding how the agency is incorporating generative AI at the moment, Michael maintains, “Generative AI is the most incredible tool, and it really allows us to do things that we couldn’t do two or three months ago. So just through a very simple text instruction that’s called a prompt, we can instantly create text, video, 3D models, and images. They are absolutely incredible.”
Despite the negative headlines around AI for the advertising industry, Michael rejects the notion that it’s bad for our industry and instead emphasises how AI will be a real accelerator of human creativity.
When asked why VCCP was siloing off AI as part of its core business, Michael revealed that the agency had already integrated a lot of the AI technologies into everything we do at VCCP, but that the core reason for creating faith was to make sure that we are at the cutting edge of the opportunities out there.
Ian King on Sky News also asked Michael whether he thought the situation would be the same for other parts of the creative industry. Michael outlines how it fundamentally comes down to mindset, as our attitude is that it’s unlikely to replace human creativity, “AI at the end of the day is a tool. It still needs a human to control it. That human needs to set the inputs, set the parameters, and also at the end of the day, it needs to make a judgement”.
When asked whether the jobs of traditional filmmakers are in jeopardy, Michael rebutted that he doesn’t think so. Instead, he contends that AI provides the opportunity to be a real democratiser of creativity as the cost of entry will be incredibly cheap and user-friendly.
The new AI creative agency, faith, is VCCP Group’s Generative AI creative shop and produces work for new and existing clients. Through a pioneering partnership with two universities, Keele Business School and Staffordshire University, it also has an important explorative R&D arm. VCCP has created and used generative AI tools for several years within its media, data, planning, production and UX/UI capabilities. This move sees the network further invest in its AI capabilities to accelerate and diversify its learning and client offering.