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Can AI Be Creative?

Creativity is a skill considered uniquely human. No other species on the surface of the earth comes close to the level of creativity we humans display.

And then we built AI, boom! Computers can now recognize, translate between every language, take calls for you, and beat players at the world’s most complicated board game, to name a few.

Can AI be creative? The usual argument against computers being creative goes that they can only do what they are told to do. Humans are the ones programming them. Instructions were given to carry out tasks accordingly. Humans, on the other hand, are not bound by rules, they can innovate, think outside the box; they can create things out of nothing.

I am certainly not talking about robots replacing copywriters and taking over creative teams at agencies. Instead, leveraging AI and existing data sets to generate, test and analyze campaigns for digital, direct response marketing. Rather than simply using human intuition to try to move an audience. This not only increases the effectiveness and reach of their creative work but also gives them the freedom and resources to focus on the big-picture brand ideas and strategies fueled only by human creativity.

Today’s consumers want to build meaningful personal connections with the companies they engage with. As more parts of the business venture into the unfamiliar territory of AI in hopes of unlocking value, it is time for creative teams to also leverage this technology to speak to humans in their language.

AI will only be as good as its training, and will not be able to do anything in areas other than the narrow domain it was trained for. This requires humans to assemble datasets and code the AI. Which is a skill humans bring to the table. When put together, AI and humans can achieve great things. They can become the best chess players in the world, and find extremely creative solutions to problems we thought impossible to solve.

AI is the paintbrush. The future creativity that requires a human wielder to make art but requires the paintbrush’s strokes.

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