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Design for digital | Digital marketing

Will AI become a creative co-pilot?

Will AI become a creative co-pilot?

By Jodie Cole

Will AI become a creative co-pilot?

Our world is a place where the physical and digital realities co-exist. Emerging tech, AI and machine learning is transforming lives, but how can it help set our creativity free? How can it help give us a competitive edge and how will it become our creative co-pilot? These are just some of the questions explored at the D&AD Annual Trend Report Insight event myself and the design team attended last week at D&AD HQ in Shorditch...

Firstly, what is the D&AD Trend Report I hear you say? Well, each year the D&AD Awards (with its 12k+ entries from over 70 countries) celebrate the very best creative work across advertising and design, as judged by 300+ world-leading designers, advertising thought-leaders and skilled creatives. The D&AD report delves into trends that dominated the awards each year and, for 2023, it was clear that augmentation and AI is really taking off in the creative world.

So how are creatives currently harnessing augmentation and AI?
Donal Keenan, D&AD Awards Director and our host for the night, showed us some brilliant examples from the entries which won coveted D&AD pencils in the 2023 awards – from really funny through to incredibly hard hitting. Here's just a few that resonated with the team...

Inclusive gaming
There are more than half a million gamers in the world that miss out on the full experience? This incredibly clever tech enables deaf people to game online and follow conversations through avatars that sign onscreen during gameplay. Find out more

AI Ketchup
Using ChatGPT image creator DALL-E, Heinz created this incredibly funny campaign that proved that even computers prefer its ketchup. This got lots of giggles in the room. Read more

Where art comes alive
This Coca Cola 'Masterpiece' ad uses a mix of live action shots, digital effects and AI to take you on 
a tour of some of the world's most famous paintings and sculptures, and it's really good! See more

Social justice
'Exhibit AI' is an incredibly powerful, poignant and purposeful use of AI. It brings to life witness statements from refugees that were inhumanely detained in offshore detention centres that banned cameras and journalists from exposing it. Read more here

I haven't linked to this video in the same way as the examples above as it does contain content that some may find disturbing. If you're ok with that though - you can watch it here

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We left the event having had our minds opened up more to the possibilities of AI, augmentation and machine learning and what it can offer the creative world. A show of hands in the room highlighted that most 'ground level' agencies still have a lot to learn when it comes to using and integrating AI creatively, and it's clear that those who adopt it early will have a competitive advantage.

Despite all the fears that AI will take over the world, it's clear that no matter what, you still need the foundations of a great concept, strategy and intent to create powerful and compelling work. And, in some cases, some mighty big budgets too!

You can explore the D&AD 2023 Trend Report in all it's glory here