Artificial Intelligence and Creativity

Artificial Intelligence and Creativity
Photo by Jason Leung / Unsplash

In the future, all creative marketing processes will be governed by AI. As humans, we will probably observe machines talking to machines and slowly become passive spectators...

I don't think so.

I believe this scenario is either a very distant future or an illusion.

I believe in the role of humans to spark creativity and the role of machines to guide and support that process.

Mastering AI techniques will be fundamental to co-create future marketing communications. And we are already quite advanced in that journey, despite the misunderstandings of the present.

chatGPT is just the tip of the AI iceberg

November 30 2022 - chatGPT was released, and the mainstream AI movement was initiated.

I had just finished an Insead Executive Education on "AI for Business Application" that featured, at that time, zero references to genAI. But still, I had fun. I learned a lot about machine learning, detection algorithms, and the kaggle platform. Only later I concluded that genAI is just the tip of an AI iceberg, but the most visible one.

For over seven years at Mars, we've used image content detection solutions, facial coding for emotion detection, and various other AI-powered machine learning tools to improve our creative excellence.

Historically, we dived deep into the academic space of neurosciences applied to marketing, creating the groundwork to understand attention, emotion, and cognition. And we've proven, to ourselves, the simple path that builds memory structures. And all the correlations that come with it.

Attention -> Emotion -> Memory Encoding

Attention and Emotion predicting business outcomes via ACE

We've then built from scratch our own creative testing tool, never before seen in the industry, bringing the above mental model into the real world of consumer research.

2000 tests later, ACE - Agile Creative Expertise - had lots of internal to Mars but also external success stories. It gave us a fantastic base to prove existing creative concepts, test crazy ideas, and push AI integration into consumer research even further. Because ACE is AI first.

Back in late 2022, I was asked by one of our stakeholders to build an AI version of ACE. To his surprise, while I was opening the hood of  ACE, we both laughed at how much AI is applied to creative excellence research today. But that was 2022, and despite my personal feelings about genAI and the power of Midjourney to replace our creative force, the world is moving faster than expected. We can't stay still.

The future belongs to us too

In the near future, advertising pre-testing as we know it will be dead.

The winning solution will provide instant, inflight, and inexpensive answers to guide creative choice.

Today, that solution could be built using a mix of AI and consumer behavioral inputs, but it is the consumer response that pulls the solution's agility down while dragging the quality up.

Finding the right balance is the key to success in creative research.

I think that learning from past experiences might help, but relying only on the past to predict the future is a fool's gold.  

How can you produce unique ideas and fascinating stories that were never before told just by looking back?

Using a human brain.