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Adobe ups the ante on AI in opening remarks of Las Vegas conference


By Webb Wright, NY Reporter

March 26, 2024 | 5 min read

In a two-hour opening keynote session on Tuesday, the tech giant unveiled a number of new AI-powered features while reinforcing its position as a one-stop shop for content supply chain optimization.

Adobe Summit opening keynote

Adobe has been continuing to innovate upon and expand Firefly, its custom generative AI model. / Webb Wright

Thousands of marketers poured into a massive exhibition hall this morning in the Venetian casino and hotel in Las Vegas to hear the opening remarks for this year’s Adobe Summit, a three-day conference hosted by the tech giant.

Adobe has described its annual conference in official communications as “the world’s largest digital experience conference.” Such grandiose language was mirrored by the setup of the exhibition hall where this morning’s keynote remarks were delivered: The room was filled with a row of giant screens, each of which – while not quite large enough to rival the nearby Sphere (the largest digital screen in the world) – was comparable to the scale of most high-end movie theaters.

From the jump, the spotlight shined squarely on AI, and especially generative AI, as the technology that is propelling marketing into a new era of productivity and creative potential.

Over the course of a presentation that lasted around two hours, a series of speakers – representing either Adobe or one of its brand partners – took the stage to discuss the many ways in which Adobe is leveraging AI to enhance various aspects of the day-to-day experience for marketers.

Special attention was paid to the content supply chain – that is, the series of steps from content ideation to production to delivery and finally to subsequent measurement and reporting. To a very large degree, Adobe seems to be aiming to establish itself as the primary resource that brands can turn to for optimizing content supply chains through the use of AI.

The brand also announced a handful of new AI-powered marketing products during this morning’s opening keynote.

Among them were Firefly Services and Custom Models. Both of these new features are designed to enable users of Adobe’s custom generative AI model Firefly to ramp up the speed and scale of their branded AI-generated content. Firefly Services provides brands with a suite of APIs and other tools to manage branded content production through Firefly. Meanwhile, Custom Models allows brands to train their own generative models using copyrighted brand IP – enabling AI models to identify and reproduce subtle aspects of a brand’s identity, from its visual imagery to the tone of its copywriting, so that these elements can be incorporated into future ad campaigns seamlessly and at scale.

“Together, [Firefly Services and Custom Models] allows companies to create orders of magnitude more content, faster than they ever could before, and this unlocks all kinds of new possibilities,” Adobe’s digital media enterprise vice-president Ken Reisman told The Drum in an interview. “We see it basically as revolutionary.”

Adobe unveiled a fleet of additional AI-powered features this morning, including the Adobe Experience Platform AI Assistant – a long-winded title for an AI-powered chatbot interface that can assist with data management, and an expanded partnership with Microsoft. The broadened scope of its partnership with Microsoft incorporates Adobe Experience Cloud software into Microsoft Copilot.

Tantalizingly, speakers during this morning’s opening keynote also hinted that Adobe would soon be releasing generative AI-powered products geared toward audio, video and 3D images. Reisman specifically highlighted AI-generated video as currently being a major focus for the brand: “Video models [are] something we’re very actively investing in,” he says. “We have new features in development that we’re going to be announcing shortly ... which will really cut costs and expand production for videos.”

Sitting in the sprawling crowd of marketers this morning, one could almost feel a palpable sense of both excitement at the opportunities posed by the new features and also possibly some anxiety – at the prospect of how marketing might be disrupted by automation in the future. But more on that later this week.

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