Tiger Technology WWF

Tiger Beer combines AI, art and conservation in WWF selfie drive to save tigers


By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

July 13, 2017 | 4 min read

Tiger Beer has collaborated with WWF on a substantial donation and awareness-raising campaign to help clamp down on the illegal tiger trade.


Tiger selfies inspired by six artists

The '3890Tigers' initiative has been named so because in the last century the number of tigers estimated to live in the wild has dropped from around 100,00 to around 3,890, a figure the brand is intent on propagating back to a substantial number.

A digital hub is live at 3890Tigers.com where users can upload a selfie to be reimagined as Tiger-inspired, AI-generated pieces of art, stylised by six leading artists. The striking campaign looks to raise awareness around the plight of the tiger and ultimately drive donations to WWF to bolster conservation efforts.

China’s Hua Tunan, France’s Mademoiselle Maurice, Malaysia’s Kenji Chai, Russia’s Nootk, the UK’s Nick Gentry or USA’s Tran Nguyen are the artists whose style will be automatically generated in a unique way by each time a user submits a selfie.

UK artist Gentry said it is important creatives lend their talents to good causes. “As humans have become increasingly absorbed in the wonder of technology, we have now arrived at the moment where we urgently need to rediscover our connection with nature," he said. "Let’s use art and technology as a force for good, to uncage creativity and inspire each other to care for the environment that we have the privilege of sharing with these beautiful animals.”

Mie-Leng Wong, global director at Tiger Beer, Heineken, Asia Pacific, added: “We can’t imagine a world without tigers and if they disappear, it would not only have an environmental impact, but also be a real loss for our culture. Tigers are beautiful creatures that symbolise strength, courage and power, and it’s only natural that so much art in human history has been inspired by them.

"That is why we have chosen art as a way to express this together with our consumers. '3890Tigers' brings people and artists together through technology and our goal is to inspire a global movement by empowering a generation of young people to make a stand against illegal tiger trade and make demand for products with tiger parts socially unacceptable."

The six-year partnership kicks off with a $1m donation from Singapore-based beer Tiger to the WWF.

Zoe Elizabeth from SapientRazorfish, who developed the AI technology for the Tiger3890 campaign, said: "This Tiger Art Intelligence is a digital art creation tool built on machine learning principles. It is a global interactive tool that combined a number of existing technologies in a new way that engaged consumers easily and hid a lot of complexity.

“The consumer can upload their photos to our tool, edit it quickly using our custom built cropping tool, then choose which artist style they want to have their portrait created in.

“All the artist styles are different — from the enigmatic street art meets calligraphy of China’s Hua Tunan, and the delicate paint and ink illustrations of the USA’s Tran Nguyen, to the fluttering rainbow origami of France’s Mademoiselle Maurice — but what unites them is a common inspiration: tigers.

“We worked closely with each artist from the beginning to the end. We took their unique styles and helped the machine translate them and output a one-of-a-kind visual created by the meeting of art and technology.

“Each of the six artists contributed a self-portrait which helped guide the final output. They also created unique elements that make up each individual selfie artworks. For Mademoiselle Maurice, this was her colourful origami pieces, for Hua, a multitude of tigers to use in various compositions.

Elizabeth added: “It was an iterative process working with the Sapient team and the artists to refine the digital creation tool.”

An earlier stage of the campaign featured in The Drum's Creative work, it also utilised art to raise awareness.

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