SeriousPR: Is there an artificial substitute for creativity?

Is there an artificial substitute for creativity?

Elon Musk has described Artificial Intelligence (AI) as “our biggest existential threat”, so should us PRs be quaking in our boots?

AI is arguably already altering the way some agencies work; repetitive tasks have been automated in larger agencies – hey wait, does that mean somewhere there are robots doing coverage books and creating media lists?!

Despite this, the industry does not seem concerned about the encroachment of AI, largely due to the rigidly held belief that a machine could never possess the creative ability to truly outclass a human with a flair for big ideas.

But PRs beware, computational creativity is a booming area of AI research, with algorithms having already been developed that enable machines to write lyrics to pop songs and impersonate the styles of renowned painters so are we banking on the sanctity of our creative minds too much?

Our advertising peers are already toying with the notion of ‘Artificial Creativity’. In 2015, M&C Saatchi launched an AI poster, which monitored the reactions of the audience and adapted itself accordingly. In 2016, McCann Japan took an even bolder step into the future and appointed an AI creative director which proved itself capable of producing a television advert that the public responded to.

Although these creative endeavours show how far AI has come, at this stage it will surely still struggle to generate something that is unexpected that adds value to our clients’ businesses.

The human ability to predict and react to unique problems, as well as strike at the heart of what incites and excites us, continues to trump probabilistic calculations conjured up by algorithms.

Hang fire robot, you’re not needed for the brainstorm just yet.