The Automation of Creativity: How man & AI will work together to improve the ad industry

In a quest to understand the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in advertising, The Drum, in partnership with Teads, has unveiled a new documentary, The Automation of Creativity, shot in Tokyo, London and Amsterdam.

The 16-minute film explores how artificial intelligence is beginning to impact the creativity of advertising and the role of human creatives.

To date, artificial intelligence (AI) machines have been able to write poetry, drive cars and there is even talk of a machine possibly winning a Pulitzer one day.

Turning the focus on the ad industry, The Automation of Creativity film stars the world’s first artificial intelligence creative director, AI-CD ß, launched by McCann Erickson Japan.

AI-CD ß is set a brief by Mondelez in the film and presents its creative idea back to the client.

As Shun Matsuzaka, communication planner at McCann Erickson Japan, in the documentary notes: “We want to treat AI-CD ß like a normal creative director. And it’s important for a creative director to be in the meeting.”

The human impact

The film discusses the impact of the automation of creativity on humans working in the ad industry.

Justin Taylor, UK managing director at Teads says: “As we are moving into this creative era of programmatic, we should see creative directors, data technologists and machines working together to really start making a difference, which is where the new era of creativity is going to come from.

For the last 10 or 15 years, we have approached digital from an analogue basis. Let’s approach creativity from a digital basis and use that to create change for the next 20 years.”

The film also features the Cannes Lions multiple-award-winning The Next Rembrandt campaign from JWT.

Filmed in Amsterdam, the documentary discovers how a team of art historians, data scientists and engineers taught a machine to think, act and paint like Rembrandt.

As the documentary explores, the machine managed to tackle all the complexities that go into the creation of a painting – resulting in a 3D-printed painting produced 347 years after the painter’s death.

During the documentary, Bas Korsten, the creative director behind the Rembrandt project explains: “The blurring between us and technology, that was the assignment. How do you merge these two or let them work together?”

The Automation of Creativity also features the story of the world’s first AI advert, a digital outdoor poster by M&C Saatchi, Clear Channel and Posterscope for made-up coffee brand Bahio.

Watch The Automation of Creativity above.

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Justin Pearse

Managing Director of The Drum's content marketing agency The Drum Works and member of BIMA's executive committee. Former editor of New Media Age.

All by Justin