David Blecken
Aug 31, 2016

Human brain sees off AI ‘creative director’, barely

A competition that pitted human against machine in the creation of a TVC saw the organic lifeform come out on top. But only just.

Better luck next time.
Better luck next time.

Having developed an artificial intelligence program to write ads (AI-CD), McCann Worldgroup in June launched a competition inviting members of the public to vote for their favourite of two TVCs for Mondelez's Clorets brand: one by Mitsuru Kuramoto, a TV writer, and one by the AI-CD. (Voters did not know which was which.)

It turns out that 54 percent of respondents preferred Kuramoto’s work, which featured a woman performing calligraphy in an expansive outdoor setting. Still, that a full 46 percent preferred the AI-CD’s offering—an outlandish spot featuring a flying dog in a suit—should be encouraging for those behind the technology.

Mitsuru Kuramoto's work

AI-CD's work

As we stated in June, we weren’t exactly moved by either ad. We found the calligraphy idea rather bland, and not a great representation of human creativity. On the other hand, the dog, while more entertaining and memorable, was just too random. That is a hazard of the AI-CD’s makeup: the ‘machine’ responds to a brief by sorting through an amalgamation of data on successful past advertising.

There is hope though. According to McCann, and the principles of AI, the more data the programme receives, the better it is likely to become. In a statement, Shun Matsuzaka, the creative planner behind the project, said the loss was “a major blow”, but that losing by a relatively small gap against “a leading creative mind is in itself a coup”.

McCann did not disclose how many people voted for the ads.

Source:
Campaign Japan

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