We are just days away from the 92nd Saudi National Day.
For the creative communication industry, it is a time of the year when brands, agencies and production companies are busy working day and night to produce the best creative products to commemorate this special event.
Everyone is under immense pressure, racing against time and their competitors to deliver.
Watching all this, I decided to experiment with artificial intelligence — machines that are claimed to be creative without feeling the “eureka” that comes with it.
AI does not get overwhelmed. It is true, it cannot — yet.
It takes my feedback to revise a specific detail on a particular style, and with every prompt brief I give, delivers my next creative submission within seconds.
It does not get tired of creating. In fact, I get tired of prompting it.
AI may well not be the final link in a chain of a technological nnovation, stretching from the team engine and beyond, until human beings vanish to be replaced by machines.
Perhaps, it can be the next Cannes Lions winner in craft and design, or an Effie award recipient in effectiveness and marketing.
I often wonder if computers will ever think like us. Could they ever have flashes of inspiration like we do? Could they dream of our national stories from history and foresee our future?
Can they produce creative products considering brand strategies, tone of voice, brand values, beliefs and positioning?
Believing the real danger is not global warming but technology, Hollywood and writers on AI frequently offer a dystopian view of the future, a vision of a world ruled by hostile machines.
AI may well not be the final link in a chain of a technological innovation, stretching from the steam engine and beyond, until human beings vanish to be replaced by machines.
I believe machines will never replace human talent.
But, of course, I am only saying this because I am an incurable optimist, so I will not bet today.
Instead, let us read what experts have to say.
Murray Shanahan, a professor of cognitive robotics at Imperial College London, and a senior scientist at DeepMind, says: “In principle, because the brain obeys the laws of physics, computers can do anything the brain can do.”
Demis Hassabis, a British AI researcher, neuroscientist and five-times winner of the Pentamind board games championship, says: “The brain is just a computer like any other. Traits previously considered innate to humans — imagination, creativity, even consciousness — may be just the equivalent of software programs.”
Coming back to the creative communication industry, if computers do not experience the joy of coming up with an idea, will they ever understand abstract feelings, such as pride and belonging during Saudi National Day?
It is worth trying to find out. Let us prompt/brief AI and see what it can make us feel when we are shown the key visual. In our industry, key visual is the one visual that defines an advertising campaign.
• Mohammed Bahmishan is an award-winning chief creative officer at Publicis Group KSA. He is a pioneering veteran in the creative communication industry in Saudi Arabia.