AI won't replace us. It will enhance our creativity
Posted on Monday 12 June 2023 | Alex Collmer - CEO & Founder, VidMob
Fears that artificial intelligence is here to replace creators are ill-founded. The real threat posed by the technology is to those who fail to embrace a human and AI partnership, writes Alex Collmer, CEO and Founder, VidMob
When attending a recent tech conference, an investor expressed the opinion that in five years' time, all creative jobs will have vanished. They predicted advances in AI and machine learning would lead to the invention of tools that could do creative jobs better than any human.
It’s an interesting perspective, but there is an equally engaging counterargument - that AI and creativity are not fundamentally at odds and, in fact, AI can actually enhance human creativity. However, that statement should be caveated with a word or two of warning.
While AI itself isn’t what marketers and creators need to fear, it's other companies employing staff with the ability to leverage AI-generated data and use it cleverly that they should be worried about. Brands who fail to embrace the technology should be looking over their shoulders, as businesses that do leverage AI will achieve stand-out content and establish their competitive advantage.
Responding to increasing content consumption
AI can be extremely helpful to under-pressure marketers, tasked to create an increasing amount of content. But it is a misguided belief that algorithms can be deployed to simply solve all challenges faced by brands looking to scale their content production. When considering the ultimate goal of marketing success, volume should not be judged as the pinnacle. Rather, creative effectiveness is what matters and brands should be aiming to foster genuine, unique emotional connections with audiences - and AI can’t do this on its own.
While AI can accurately measure the impact of multiple creative elements in a video ad - emotions portrayed by a model, the audio accompanying imagery, the logo placement and so on - it’s not until humans analyse this data that meaningful strategic insights are derived to help fully understand audience reactions and the context around them. Once a deeper level of understanding is established, these insights can help optimise current campaign creative for success and assist with efficient planning. Without a human eye, the data itself carries limited value.
Augmenting creative with AI
Before AI-driven creative data, the production conversation has been primarily a conversation about building faster and cheaper creative. The first step towards scaling meaningful creative content must be to understand it.
Once marketers grasp which creative elements work well and why, on which platforms, they can ramp up their content production while continuing to make the appropriate adjustments for each unique audience in every channel where they will be met. Every frame of an ad contains a myriad of creative decisions. AI-powered tools have the capacity to capture all of these data points in real-time - not just of a single ad, or whole campaign, but from all of the video content a brand has ever created. And while marketers may have a reasonable understanding of which of their ads worked and to what extent, AI provides an answer to the million-dollar question: Why?
By tracking all the behavioural signals from audience reaction to each creative element, AI collates the data that marketers require to build learning models to fully inform and enhance their future creative decisions.
Why AI needs creatives
The AI-powered creative platforms used in the business world all require an element of human input. Runway ML, Craiyon, Midjourney and so on need human prompts and direction to be useful. Similarly, when applied to marketing, human intervention can help ensure brand safety when using AI.
AI tools open up a host of creative learnings to marketers and brands who have the ability and expertise to use the data. These teams will still need to maintain control of design oversight and ensure findings are considered in context with AI capabilities guiding their decisions. Where AI really shines and supports the human team beyond their own capacity is in efficiently generating a higher volume and variety of content to meet audience needs and platform requirements. The time saved by AI solutions affords creators space to indulge their creativity further and apply their expertise in different ways.
Fears that AI is here to replace creators are ill-founded: the real threat posed by AI is to those who fail to embrace a human and AI partnership. Rather than reducing the creative roles available to humans, brands that embrace data and technology will require an expertly-trained workforce to interpret findings and apply insights creatively, eliminating guesswork and optimising creative content. As a result, the next generation of marketers will evolve alongside AI capabilities and will require data analytics skills to enable a new level of creative efficiency based on data-driven decisions. Brands that embrace this new reality will find that they have a significant competitive advantage over those that continue operating the same way they have been for decades.