Generative AI revolutionising content creation?
"Artificial intelligence will turn the creative industry upside down," said Heinrich Paravicini, founder of the Mutabor Design GmbH during the recent Creative Independence Congress held at the company's headquarters in November. However, he remarked later: "The disruption of our industry is not simply coming, it's already here." The potential of generative AI for creating content in the visual and audio sectors as well as strategic marketing topped the agenda of the congress attended by retail and IT experts and the creative scene under the theme of "From Digital first to AI first".
AI-generated images enhancing photo shoots
Burkhard Müller, Mutabor's Chief Data Officer, presented the agency's new "Brand Imagery Tool", which uses AI to generate customised images for different brands. Based on the Stable Diffusion text-to-image generator, the designers train the AI model to match the desired visual image with language. "AI will not replace photo shoots, but it will certainly enhance them," Müller pointed out. The respective model could be transferred to an unusual setting backed by AI and staged in the middle of clouds or riding a whale or tiger. The AI tool has a cutting edge over stock images as it can provide suitable images quickly and cost-effectively beyond photo shoots. "That is a really good alternative to stock images, which companies often use, but which do not really match their brand," said Müller.
Rethinking audio creations with AI
And if professional radio and TV speakers are not available, AI offers a really good alternative, said Philipp Feit, Managing Director of the German Wahnsinn agency. He added: "AI allows users to completely rethink their audio creations e.g., cloning and text-to-speech." To clone a voice, the AI is trained on a real voice and can then generate any text in the pitch, modulation and rhythm of the original voice. The latest episodes of Pumuckl, a popular German cartoon kobold, voiced by actor Hans Clarin, who died in 2005, shows just how well this works.
AI-supported, personalised recommendations
"AI is experiencing a noticeable boost in the German economy," according to the Bitkom association in September after the proportion of German companies using AI rose from 9 to 15 per cent in a year. All kinds of applications are possible, representatives of business and trade stressed during the congress. "We are testing the potential in many fields: in translations and search engine optimisation, in supply chain management or in controlling," said Katharina Roscher, Corporate Director Brand Tech & Ecosystems of Henkel. The focus is on more efficient campaigns, she added. Fabian Haustein, CDO of Unger fashion in Hamburg, noted: "Personalised marketing is a major topic here. There will be online shops where customers find product recommendations tailored to their needs and which are presented in the right atmosphere. Just imagine, e.g., a customer looking for a dress for a wedding in Amalfi."
Chatbots for internal and external communication
In July, the Otto Group began testing an AI assistant in its online shop to answer questions in seconds. "We have created a kind of B-otto, a combination of Otto and bot thanks to generative AI," said Nicolai Johannsen, Vice President Consumer Interactions. The Otto Group is also using AI for in-house communications and in September launched ogGPT based on OpenAI's ChatGPT technology and Microsoft's Azure OpenAI Service. Applications such as ogGPT and B-otto are still being developed, he stressed. More than 100 Otto employees focus solely on AI, Johannsen confirmed.
Indispensable human factor
Although the technological development is fascinating, its rapid pace makes it difficult for companies to keep up, admitted Alissa Rabe, Creative Strategist at Google. The successful use of AI requires more collaboration. "Now is the time to move away from silo thinking." Openness, a willingness to experiment and a cultural change that is accepted by employees are key factors. And the human factor remains important, she stressed, adding: "As good as AI has become, we will always need people to curate the technology."
Read the other parts in our AI series: