Embracing Artificial Intelligence

Last week MB’s Mat spoke to Jim Giles at New Scientist about a new branding technology that has been developed by a team at the Bruno Kessler Foundation in Trentino, Italy.

The artificial intelligence software is used to create brand names. There are some strong examples of the system providing congruous (if not creatively brilliant) results: Eatalian for an Italian Restaurant, and Thinthetic for a lightweight computer.

Carlo Stapparava, one of the team members developing the tool, explains, “A name doesn’t come out of the blue. There is a technique, and when there is a technique it is possible to think computationally.”

For Mat, this technology calls to mind the RepRap, the machine that can clone itself, or the ‘story bots,’ that are writing financial articles. “If you combine that with visual design you get machines designing themselves, building themselves, naming themselves and communicating about themselves. It’s clear that the human role is vital but changing.”

As ‘Skynet’ as this all sounds, Carlo and Mat are in agreement that these technologies do not supercede the role of creative professionals, but are an aid to the creative process.

“There is massive scope for automation in the creative industry,” Mat suggests. “Taken as a whole, the industry may be more akin to pre-Gutenburg times than the internet age. Sure, this may be a slight exaggeration, but a lot of ‘creative’ work is unoriginal and repetitious — machines can do that well, instead of people. Theoretically this would be cheaper, quicker, more coherent and easier to manage. However, it should be creative people who define the direction. Knowing the strategy and the purpose of what you’re doing is absolutely key, without that the technical marvels can blind you to whether what you are making is good or not in the first place. Without that there’s no story..”

The full article is in the latest New Scientist magazine, and online (although currently only available to subscribers).

Photo credit: Magdalena Ladrón de Guevara