Man, machine, marketing. Co-creativity that works?
Artificial intelligence to sharpen brands.
How we use AI art and new artistic aesthetics for brands.
July 13, 2022
Artificial intelligence is everywhere. We come across it in everyday life as a curator of our music streaming or our social media feeds. And in art. In AI art, digital productions and new art aesthetics grow from algorithms. Designer Daniela Vogel sees potential for brands in this. And explains how co-creativity between humans and machines can work.
The artistic interface between man, machine and marketing.
AI art comprises works of art created with the help of artificial intelligence. In part, it raises the question of creativity. And where it comes from – people or machines? For designer Daniela, the answer is clear: AI art arises from human and non-human contributions. A good design needs both. Why? ‘Because people design for people. We are the same species with the same sensations and know how we have to communicate for it to have an effect.’ This applies to AI-based art projects as well as brand campaigns. The difference is that in brand work with AI – as with all design processes – strategic thinking is part of the process. A good example is our season campaign for the Deutsche Oper Berlin opera house. The basis for the design was the idea of the transformative power of opera. From that starting point, our design team and Daniela Vogel developed unseen images based on a data set of several hundred images from the Deutsche Oper Berlin. A whole new algorithmic aesthetic has grown from that highly experimental approach. ‘The machine didn’t do that alone; it arose through co-creativity with us, the designers. The AI merely generated the images from the data set. We then curated them and assigned a meaning to them,’ explains Daniela.
Our team draws three learnings from the brand work with AI for the Deutsche Oper Berlin:
Artificial intelligence is an existing, rapidly growing research field. ‘This means that I have to deal with this as a designer, because AI shapes our everyday lives and influences how we will act and think in the future. This also applies to brands. In order to remain attractive, brands have to be part of this important development and deal with the subjects of our time,’ says Daniela.
For designer André van Rueth, the appeal of AI as a design tool is that you are often in a black box. That is to say, you can’t always see and understand the process of algorithms. ‘For us designers, this means giving up control from time to time,’ adds Daniela Vogel. ‘That takes a lot of courage and patience. And the ability to go with the flow and continue working with the output that the algorithm spits out. That’s what makes it so exciting.’
Every brand design requires individual, creative solutions. Artificial intelligence is not a panacea for brand design. Our design for the Deutsche Oper Berlin cannot simply be transferred to other clients. Being familiar with AI and GANs – algorithms used in unsupervised machine learning – is not enough either. Designers need sensitivity, a good understanding of the endless digital possibilities – and, ultimately, creativity as well.
What if AI does become more creative than designers?
Daniela: ‘The progress of artificial intelligence cannot be stopped, only shaped. To do that, I have to deal with the topic. Technically, but also intellectually. I find the debate about creativity and AI exciting because it triggers new emotions, such as curiosity, fascination and criticism, as well as new trains of thought. Essentially, as far as the creativity of AI is concerned, I always remain sceptical about artificial intelligence in art and design. But I am also confident and see this development as an opportunity. AI helps me expand my creativity. I can experiment with the tool, have fun, develop new aesthetics. And decide what my own attitude to how people and machines can work together in the long term and make an impact is going to be.’