Another Robot Trying To Steal Our Jobs?

R2CopywriterAre you old enough to remember when intelligent graphic software first entered the mainstream? I am. I recall something as (now) mundane as typesetting — seeing the type in its font, as it would be spaced, ONSCREEN! Does anyone even use the term WYSIWYG anymore?

Some of the old-school designers balked at design software. How could a machine replace hand-rendered layout skills? But it did. Of course, the creative mind was safe. Machines could spit out what you told them to expectorate, but the human was irreplaceable. Until now.

In the spirit of the Terminator film saga, where machines think and even rationalize like humans, one large ad agency has developed software that, get this, creates entire ads. You simply tell it your objectives and your computer chooses an image, generates copy, and does the layout. In seconds.

I’m betting this is much ado about nothing. In a mundane world filled with mostly mediocre advertising that typically misses the mark, we seek out and celebrate creativity. Look no further than the Superbowl as a much anticipated, world-class showcase of the best (and not-so-best) in creative pitch making. Could algorithms and databases generate the next great Bud commercial? Sure … just as 1,000 monkeys strapped in front of computers could generate a first-rate novel.

My hope is that this software was generated as a sophomoric challenge. I envision two ad execs sitting at a bar, taking jabs at their thin-skinned creative team, when one says to the other, “Imagine how they’d react if we replaced them all with computers!” And the other says, “Hey, why not?” And months later, what started as a joke has burned up thousands of hours and created one mediocre toy/creative director.

If it were to create its own trade ad, this would likely be the copy: If you’re going to waste your client’s money anyway, don’t waste your time coming up with crap the old fashioned way.

Read about the abomination here: http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/27/dont-tell-the-creative-department-but-software-can-produce-ads-too/

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2 Comments

  1. I like your nostalgic look back on the evolution of technology.
    But I still think the human has to be creative in order for the software to work,
    the machine will never replace human complexity.

    Like

    Reply

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