By Katie Deighton | Senior Reporter

April 25, 2018 | 3 min read

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Channel 4 is continuing its run of interactive marketing stunts promoting sci-fi show Humans with ‘The Human Test’, an app that utilises Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa to be able to decipher if the user is a ‘synth’ (robot) or a human.

The project marks Channel 4’s first foray into voice assistant programme marketing. It was created by in-house agency 4Creative to promote season three of the TV drama

Those who install the app will be asked by their respective virtual assistant a series of questions inspired by the Turing Test, such as: ‘If a robot can feel, should it be granted human rights?’ and ‘Think of the most memorable dream you've ever had. Describe how it felt in one word.’

Once they’ve taken the test and discovered the very essence of their identity, users will be guided to a microsite designed to host human and synth profiles and a series three trailer. It also houses more information on the National Synth Detection Unit – the fictional government department whose communications will underpin the wider marketing campaign around season three of Humans.

Those users who discover they are, in fact, a synth will be sent a detailed description of their personality type – their model and what they’ve been designed to do.


“Building on the themes of the third season of Humans where it’s hard to tell who is a human and who is synth, we decided to build The Human Test, an AI experience using voice assistant devices,” explained Alice Tonge, head of 4Creative. “The test is designed to create a sense of paranoia and suspicion of AI and synths in the real world in an entertaining way.”

Christos Savvides, senior digital producer at 4Creative, added: “The rapid rise in voice assistant devices shows that people are willing to let A.I. into their family homes as part of their daily lives. These devices run on what could be seen as similar technology to the brains of the Synthetic Humans featured in the show, creating the perfect platform for our campaign.

“We loved the idea of flipping the Turing test on its head so rather than detecting if a machine is sentient, ‘The Human Test’ determines if the user is in fact, a machine.”

4Creative partnered with OMD UK and Screenmedia on the campaign.

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Channel 4

Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster that began transmission on 2 November 1982. 

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