Artificial Creativity - Is creativity digitally evolving?

Posted by Chris Chappell from Ogilvy Healthworld — London, UK on April 5, 2017 

With any new advancement in technology, we all think about how that will affect us, and it’s no different in the creative industry.

Creativity at its core is about finding interest in everything, even the mundane. But it is the mundane that has slowly been taken over by technology. The recent advances in machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) have now started to invade our creative industries. Traditionally, campaigns were aimed at the mass market, but today, brands target a “market of one.” To do this, it is possible to use AI to recognise and respond to one’s emotions. One experimental example used a fake coffee brand billboard ad. This tracked viewers’ facial expressions and changed the ad depending on how they reacted, by using a genetic algorithm to test creative executions based on layout, font, and imagery. The technology started to recognise which ads worked and which didn’t according to how the public reacted, and it fine-tuned the creative to find one that appealed the most to the audience. The AI not only wrote the ads, it also improved the ads over time. A true evolution of creative. 

This example is only the beginning. How long before collated data start to edit various film clips, storylines, and music to create a film? Actually, the script for the short film Sunsprings was written by AI last year.

Researchers at Sony used their Flow Machines software to write the music track Daddy’s Car based on a database of over 13,000 basic scores of different genres from around the globe. The only instruction was to make it in the style of a Beatles track.

An obvious avenue for creativity, art has been tackled by AI for over 40 years. A more recent example is The Next Rembrandt, a project that used a team of data scientists, developers, engineers, and Rembrandt experts to create a new Rembrandt portrait, 347 years after his death. If a 17th-century Dutch master isn't your first choice, then the art-creating program called AARON can produce more abstract pieces.

Today, Artificial Creativity is using code to define an output based on what it learns through the evolution of the data. I would call that experience.

So, can cognitive creativity be truly creative? Looking at these examples, I would find it hard to argue that it isn’t creative already.