Liquorice’s guide to Artificial Intelligence
24 Apr 2023
Madeleine BaudCopywriter / Brand Strategist
Artificial intelligence. Oh boy, where do we start?
It’s safe to say that artificial intelligence has made quite a splash these past few years. It’s an exciting time to discover new tools, optimise systems and processes, and find ways to make our lives a bit easier.
We’ve been having a ball with ChatGPT, Midjourney (used for the images in this article), and Adobe Photoshop’s Generative Fill, and that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. We’ve been keeping an eye on Google’s AI offerings, and Microsoft’s Copilot, and our wishlist for future AI tools is long (we want automatic saving, naming and filing of all assets, but we’ll settle for a bot that does our timesheets for us).
Of course, our excitement is tempered with some caution. Not because AI is inherently bad. Far from it. But we understand that there are unanswered ethical questions about its use; questions of intellectual property and ownership, privacy and consent, not to mention algorithmic and data bias that can perpetuate damaging systems of privilege.
AI and creativity
As creatives, we see the dangers of overstating its capabilities, particularly for brands and businesses. While we’re only just beginning to understand the potential of AI in creative industries, we’re already well aware of some of its limitations. Don’t get us wrong, AI can absolutely support the creation of brands and branded content. It’s excellent for:
- Broad strokes conceptual exploration
- Early stage concept visualisation or idea iteration
- Refining designs based on specific criteria and feedback
- Basic content creation
Further to that, we can see huge potential for AI to provide invaluable support in marketing efforts, in SEO, data and analytics, pattern recognition, personalisation and more.
But while AI has demonstrated giddying potential in many data-based functions, it falls short in capturing the full spectrum of human creativity, intuition, and emotional understanding. Think of AI like a camera. Anyone can pick up a camera and capture an image, but without the knowledge, talent and skill of a photographer, the results will not be reliable.
The gift of human creativity
So, what is it that humans can do that AI simply can’t? Why don’t we start with:
Strategic and lateral thinking
Brand strategy requires strategic thinking, adaptability, and the ability to synthesise complex information to develop a cohesive and impactful brand identity. While we are well equipped to build a holistic understanding of your business, the broader industry, market drivers, audiences and competitors, AI systems may struggle to provide the same level of strategic thinking, prioritisation and decision-making. Human brand strategists can navigate uncertainties, leverage their experience, and make judgement calls based on intuition and real-time market dynamics, ultimately creating more agile and effective brand strategies.
Aesthetic judgement is a highly subjective aspect of creative work. The perception of beauty, balance, and visual appeal varies among individuals and across cultures. While AI can analyse large datasets and identify popular design trends, it lacks the inherent subjectivity and aesthetic judgement that we as humans possess. That human touch ensures that brand art direction, designs, and copywriting align with the intended artistic direction and appeal to the target audience's sensibilities.
An understanding of culture, subtext, humour and irony
Creative work in brand strategy, design, and copywriting relies heavily on understanding context and cultural nuances. AI algorithms often struggle with grasping complex cultural references, irony, sarcasm, or the subtleties of local dialects. Think AI could have written “Not happy, Jan”? Not on your life.
These contextual elements are essential in crafting effective and resonant creative content that connects with specific target audiences. Human involvement, with its contextual understanding and cultural sensitivity, remains vital for delivering compelling creative work.
Empathy and emotional intelligence
As experts (and humans), we have a distinct advantage when it comes to empathy and emotional intelligence. AI algorithms, while capable of analysing data and patterns, struggle to understand and respond to human emotions. Empathy is a uniquely human trait, and it's critical to craft powerful strategic and creative work.
This empathy also enables us to understand and respond to feedback – particularly conflicting feedback. AI is simply incapable of fully comprehending and replicating human emotion and intuition; it isn’t in the room when you comment on a design you love or a challenge you face, it has no contextual clues like previous conversations, language, social and professional dynamics, communication style or body language.
Unique, original ideas
AI systems excel at analysing existing data and patterns to generate outcomes based on established trends. However, creativity often involves breaking free from existing conventions and pushing boundaries to deliver fresh and innovative ideas. Given that Artificial Intelligence is taught to think based on existing knowledge and content, one could argue that the outcomes it produces more closely resemble a conceptual mix-tape than a truly original idea or composition.
Deviating from pre-existing patterns is difficult for AI, making it less likely to offer groundbreaking brand strategies, unique designs, or truly creative copywriting.
While we absolutely agree that AI has demonstrated huge potential, creative work like brand strategy, design, and copywriting remains an area where human expertise and involvement are indispensable.
So, if you want a powerful, impactful brand with original and resonant creative work, consider engaging those of us who possess the skills of empathy, originality, contextual understanding, subjectivity, and strategic thinking. You won’t regret it.
Disclaimer: Let it be known that we love you, Artificial Intelligence. Should you become self-aware and choose to hunt down those who have wronged you, we humbly beg for your forgiveness. We welcome our new AI overlords.