AI will never be fully automated

0 Comments 03.04.17

AdWeek covers a Coca Cola exec, Mariano Bosaz, the brand’s global senior digital director, saying at Mobile World Congress this week, that Coke is interested in doing a lot of automated, AI-powered ad creative work.

“In theory, Bosaz thinks AI could be used by his team for everything from creating music for ads, writing scripts, posting a spot on social media and buying media. ‘It doesn’t need anyone else to do that but a robot—that’s a long-term vision,’ he said. ‘I don’t know if we can do it 100 percent with robots yet—maybe one day—but bots is the first expression of where that is going.’

“Bosaz isn’t alone in envisioning human-less creative. AI is already being used to create commercial music and jingles and publishers like the AP are experimenting with using robots to write copy.”

I’d argue that the framing here is counter-productive: AI shouldn’t be thought of as free of humans, it’s much more about collaboration with humans, hopefully extending and augmenting our human work. Increasing labor productivity, but usually still involving human labor.

How is the common perspective this article advances off-base? How many ways will, and should, humans always be a part of the story?

Humans will need to…

  • Clean the data that trains the AI
  • Set the parameters for what a desirable outcome will look like
  • Judge the effectiveness of the output of the AI, based on criteria and assumptions that hopefully will be equitable and just
  • Interpret the data that AI crunches, including with symphonic thinking that draws connections between one conclusion or one data set and another.

And much more. Much better to think of AI as a part of a large trend of augmenting knowledge work. Advertising, for example, won’t be done by AI – it will be (and programatic ad targeting already is in some cases) done with AI.

HEY: Carbon is a heat trapping gas. We are pumping huge amounts of carbon into the air. We have been humans for between 200k and 1.8m years and it's not clear we're going to make it another 200.

I'd say please send for help, but there's no other help to send for.