Dörte Spengle-Ahrens: Creative people to solve future problems

22 May 2019
Focus on "Creative Intelligence" at Art Directors Club (ADC) - but can AI be creative?

What does our future look like? Will artificial intelligence (AI) push us out of our jobs? This is one of the questions currently being asked among creative people. “Creative Intelligence” is the motto of this year’s ADC festival, which runs from May 21-June 2, 2019 at the Kampnagel theatre. More than 50 international leaders, pioneers and decision-takers from design, digital, art, advertising, business and science are expected at the ADC Congress on May 23 and 24. The question how creative ideas can arise in the digital age and how we will work in the future will be the dominant theme.

Jobfutomat: low threat from AI to creative people

“Creativity is the key to all the questions that currently concern us,” Dörte Spengle-Ahrens believes. “Creative people are the solution to problems of the future,” said the ADC Congress curator and member of the ADC executive. “We are needed as never before.” Spengler-Ahrens is convinced that innovation occurs mainly by coincidence – “as a result of the absurd and the fact that we not only permit mistakes, but actually celebrate them,” she said. By contrast, AI largely entrenches existing conditions and is thus not creative. This means that the creative sectors are safe from AI. But is Spengler-Ahrens right? The Jobfutomat, an analytic tool created by the Institute for the Labour Market and Occupational Research (IAB), provides information about tasks that robots could possibly take over, and agrees with her. However, the likelihood of automating the work of art directors is considered low.

Relevant, creative communication and added value

Heinrich Paravicini, President of ADC, has queried: “Do we want to declare a war by artificial on creative intelligence?” No. Creativity and technology are not in conflict – they even condition each other.” The march of technology and big data could be useful tools, but they must be used to introduce relevance and added value to creative communication. The ADC has come up with seven principles to clarify what creative communication could be: At its best, creative communication has an idea, is intelligible, convincing, skilful, is fun, serves a purpose and, last but not least, is neither racist nor discriminatory.

Miracle of inspiration process

Using these seven themes as a guide, Mark Gmehling, a former street artist and festival speaker, has come up with seven placard designs intended to generate interest in the ADC festival from outside the sector as well. Gmehling sets out to illustrate the miracle of the inspiration process by means of dioramas. They include a “god of ideas on a brain throne surrounded by angels with smartphones in their hands”. After all, technology is the essence of the ADC festival. The placards also feature the kiss of a muse; a cloud giving birth to flashes of inspiration, and monkeys “representing the anarchic moment that is an essential part of the creative process,” said Gmehling.

Well-known speakers at congress and on Open Space stage

Gmehling is to give a keynote on the theme: “Who will win the creative duel between humans and machines?” Among the speakers at the ADC congress and on the Open Space stage are the bestselling author Jeff Jarvis, Tarek Müller, co-founder of About You, the artist Jonathan Meese, architect Volkwin Marg, Nicola Mendelsohn, Vice President of Facebook EMEA and the “JFK Unsilenced” project, which uses a combination of AI and human creativity to reconstruct the speech that John F Kennedy would have taken, if he had not been assassinated on November 22, 1963.


Sources and further information

    Art Directors Club

    More than 700 leading brains in the creative sector have joined forces in the Art Directors Club for Germany (ADC) e.V. The club’s members include well known designers, journalists, architects, photographers, illustrators, directors, composers, producers and specialists in digital media and advertisers. ADC is Germany’s largest creative festival. The most creative communication in Germany will be selected during the ADC Award Show on May 24, 2019. The ADC exhibition will show the entries up to June 2. The promoters, partners and sponsors of the 2019 ADC Festival include the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, WallDecaux, YouTube, Facebook, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and PAGE.

    More information on: www.adc.de/events/festival

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