AI attracts a lot of attention from many different industries, and marketing is no exception. There are a lot of discussions going on about how AI can help companies make their marketing efforts more efficient.
When speaking about AI in marketing, the focus is usually on how AI can effectively process big data to make predictions, help marketers save time on repetitive tasks, or drive conclusions from big chunks of data.
AI already helps us with automation and making better marketing decisions, so it’s safe to say the technology can execute complex analytical tasks. But we all know marketing is not only about crunching data — it is also about creativity. So, the question is: Will AI help marketing specialists complete creative tasks in the future?
To make sure we are on the same page, let’s first define what AI really is. AI is a simulation of human intelligence in machines. AI, and more precisely deep learning, mimics the human brain: AI algorithms use neural networks that can process large amounts of data. An AI is first trained on a given task, using historical data as input.
Once trained, users can employ the technology to make predictions on new data. For example, many marketers use AI to predict the buying propensity of their website visitors.
Examples of creative AI
We all know the human brain is capable of completing creative tasks. Since deep learning works similarly to the human brain, it’s fair to assume AI can be as creative as humans.
AI is capable of solving a vast amount of tasks, and, it turns out, this includes creative tasks. Here are some examples of AI creating art, composing music, and even defining and recognizing beauty.
Ever wondered why some images are more eye-catching than others? Have you struggled with browsing through tons of images to find the one that really appeals to you and fits your message?
Well, the folks at EyeEm took their image search to the next level. EyeEm created an AI that is able to decide if a picture is aesthetically pleasing by analyzing its content. The technology can even offer users a personalized ranking based on specific visual requirements. It can also generate a caption for each image so the user doesn’t have to bother with creating a keyword list. Their AI is arguably as capable as a human at defining and recognizing beauty in a photo.
Yes, AI can be artistic too. And the good news is, artistic AI is readily available to users as a mobile app.
Pikazo is a free app that uses a deep neural network to create art. The AI combines two images to make one, really cool image. A user simply selects a photo to paint and chooses how to paint it then the machine does the rest. Granted, this AI does not yet compete with true, human artists, but the results are certainly eye-catching. This is an excellent tool for marketers looking to create interesting photos for ads and social content.
AI is dabbling in copywriting as well. In fact, the MIT Media Lab created an AI called Shelley (named after Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein) that can write horror stories.
Researchers trained Shelley using classic horror stories so that she can now write her own stories in this genre. Developers used 140,000 stories as training data. Another cool aspect of this AI is that you can help Shelley write a horror story by interacting with her on Twitter.
Clearly, the horror genre of writing won’t fit most marketing campaigns, but it’s promising to see AI like this that could help boost creativity and perhaps even pull writers out of a rut.
There are other AI-driven solutions that are a bit more practical and widely used in the marketing field to help users improve their content. A couple of examples include AIs like Crystal and Grammarly, which analyze text and provide advice on communication style, tone, grammar, and punctuation.
When there’s AI to create art and write fiction, why not create an AI that can compose music? Jukedeck can dynamically compose music in different styles, so users can easily create audio tracks for their company videos or even for personal use. The music composed by Jukedeck’s AI is surprisingly indistinguishable from human-composed music. The tool is great for marketers who would otherwise resort to using a generic stock jingle.
Creative AI at your service
If AI can paint in different styles, compose music, and write horror fiction, it’s exhibiting strong potential to take on more significant creative tasks in the future of marketing. That might lead one to ask: Will AI soon replace designers, composers, and photographers? My answer is, certainly not. The technology will actually create new opportunities for creative teams, making their lives easier and augmenting their work.
Niko Nelissen is the founder of Blendr.io, a data integration platform for sales and marketing.