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Design through AI, Desired or Dystopian Future?

They thought they were unscathed by the monster’s silent advance. Finally it came and devoured them. AI is unforgiving!


By Cristián Saracco, founding Partner Allegro 234 | CMO zenziya | President aebrand | Member Medinge Group


The first to warn us about the advances of artificial intelligence -AI- were the futurologists. Many of them with trends and research information suggesting what was to come.

Of course, in this online world, we were also “mis” informed on social media by many pseudo-visionaries whose ramblings generated only amusement -if not an immeasurable sadness.

However, two things are certainly true:

  • Where AI is said, one can presuppose software -extremely complex, but at the end of the day that’s what it is, a program

  • To balance the above, it must also be admitted that the algorithms behind AI software allow it to learn and improve based on the information it gathers with each iteration it performs

In this context, at least two major groups of professionals assumed they would be safe: the programmers of those damned algorithms and the creatives. Crass mistake!

Today, the algorithm feeds itself back and creatives have realised that 95% of what they do can be replicated by a machine.

Artificial Intelligence Arrived and Settled In Like Snug as a Bug in a Rug

A few days ago I read in Forbes an article written by Dawson Whitfield talking about the authenticity of brands developed by AI.

First of all, let us say that Dawson is also the Founder of Looka, an AI logo design and brand identity platform.

It argues that because a brand is the collective impression customers have of a company, every experience they have with that firm contributes to building its brand. Assuming this, AI’s role in creating an authentic brand experience stems from:

• Accessing the brand by enabling a more complete experience.

• Understanding gaps in the customer experience, enabling the brand to become the most authentic version of itself

• Personalising the experience by fostering a one-to-one connection that makes customers feel understood by the brand

• Creating brand assets that generate design and content that customers will remember

• Building brand authenticity by removing barriers and recognising that the brand’s humanity benefits from automation

Somehow, what he says is that AI is coming to help, but what he omits is that for this to happen, a profound transformation in the way creatives understand and do things is required.

It is somehow funny -if it were not for the fact that our professional lives are at stake- that those who are currently talking about AI are “experts” or founders of companies in this field. It is usual to read about the benefits and efficiencies of their tools, while almost as an oxymoron they defend from their companies the search for a positive social and environmental impact, while selling their developments in a way that is close to the cruellest and most ruthless imaginable capitalism.

It’s thinking about a new way of doing things in which our humanity allows us to add that 5% that makes the difference.

In Dystopian Mode

Lately, Terry Gilliam’s film Brazil comes to mind quite often. Other times the miniseries, also British, Year and Years. You’ll find that, under this pressure, I don’t sleep too much. Anyway!

One option is to stand still and assume the end of life on our planet; a true implosion of the creative world to start enjoying brands that are created by robots that rely on an algorithm developed by a devilish being.

If creative lines are going to respond to fads, be a copy of one another, and we stop paying attention to the fact that brands are that bridge that establishes conversations between companies and people, then let the AI take over, and let’s go out and find a new job to pursue -which is also difficult because the person who interviews and filters you in the initial interviews is another robot.

In Challenge Mode

The other option is to understand the challenge and develop new skills, recreate the content of our work and leverage on new technologies to become even better. Creative, get on with things!

It’s thinking about a new way of doing things in which our humanity allows us to add that 5% that makes the difference. It is to devise new ways of creating and designing, of relating events and things in ways hitherto unthinkable. If even we don’t know the answers, even less can be expected from AI. It can help, it can predict -based on past experience- but it can hardly replace what we imagine and do.

AI has for a long time been a source of anxiety for professionals, now also within the creative industry. The mere mention of AI entering their field has triggered fears of being boxed in by the automation of their work altogether.

Despite their reluctance, AI could be brand builders’ best bet to establish closer connections with key audiences.

How do you plan to win this battle?

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