No longer the stuff of speculative fiction, artificial intelligence is on the cusp of disrupting every aspect of how we do our jobs and live our lives. Here are just three ways in which AI is having an impact on the creative industries.
It’s been proven over and over that the best advertising content is something which provokes an involuntary emotional reaction in the viewer. AI is already being used to edit videos which follow an emotional arc, encompassing a range of different feelings but always ending on a happy or satisfying note. There’s even evidence to suggest that AIs are, in fact, better at tugging on our heartstrings than real people. In a BBC experiment, which measured emotional responses by tracking movement in 32 facial muscle groups via webcam, a David Attenborough documentary trailer edited by AIs was shown to be more effective on audiences than one created by humans.
And it’s not just mathematically precise editing; AIs can create. This year’s Cannes Lions saw the screening of a music video which had been conceived by IBM Watson, based on a set of song lyrics. Google Magenta is exploring the possibilities of AI art and graphic design. VR landscapes offer up a whole new artistic canvas, and the potential for AIs to build entire worlds.
So the next great visual artist, cinematic auteur or advertising genius might just be a robot. Far from feeling threatened, there is an opportunity here for brands and agencies to be leaders, to incorporate these daring new platforms into your own strategy, to bring your data to life in stunning new ways, and marry artificial artistry with human originality.
Artificial Intelligence and the Second Industrial Revolution
AI is being implemented to “cognify” existing machines; to make them better at certain functions, such as navigation in driverless cars. These robots don’t have to be perfect. They just have to be better at their specific tasks than the average human. For some job titles, the so-called “symphony of cognification” will spell unavoidable redundancy. “The most common occupation in America is currently a truck driver,” says Kevin Kelly. “In 20 years, 50 per cent of these jobs will be gone. In 30 years, 100 per cent.”
Human beings need meaning in their life; losing one’s place in the economy can swiftly lead to a loss of influence in other areas. Governments and businesses both need to be thinking about what to do with these workers can be automated, to avoid the birth of a new “useless class.”
Jobs which focus on efficiency and productivity will be handed over to robots, but jobs which require leadership and innovation will stay with humans. In order to future-proof our careers, we need to dig down into the non-efficient aspects of our roles and develop deliverables which hinge on creativity and human relationships. Ultimately, humankind and machines will be a team.
Which leads us to…
Rise of the Centaurs
The gap between human beings and technology is growing smaller every day. Connected devices are designed to fit seamlessly and ubiquitously into our lives, whether they’re on our wrists or in our homes. From smart clothing to virtual assistants, automatic translation to self-driving cars; the connection between us and the machines will soon be invisible, immediate, and instinctive.
As the Singularity grows closer, we will partner and collaborate with machines more and more. AIs will help to diagnose illnesses, solve problems and come up with ideas, while the human brain will still be relied upon to provide spontaneity and randomness. Our own consciousness will be enhanced by artificial intelligence, and we’ll become ‘centaurs’, a hybrid species. Some might say we’re already there — losing one’s smartphone does feel a little like being without a limb, after all.
The omnipresence of AI is one of three core trends identified in the Ogilvy Public Relations Futures #2. Click here to read the full report.