In the rapidly evolving landscape of artificial intelligence (AI), it's increasingly apparent that embracing AI is essential to stay relevant, and this sentiment holds particularly true for artists, designers, and creatives. It's noteworthy to observe major corporations like Coca-Cola embarking on their journey into generative AI, focusing on the inclusion and empowerment of creatives. Coca-Cola has taken a pioneering step by appointing a global head of generative AI, Pratik Thakar, making it one of the first major multinational companies to do so. This move underscores the company's belief in the transformative power of AI. Their initiatives emphasize empowering independent creators and smaller studios by leveraging generative AI's potential.
Thakar envisions AI as a bridge between human creativity and brand identity, aiming to democratize Coca-Cola's identity through accessible tools that enable various forms of creative expression. He emphasizes the importance of ethical considerations in AI and is committed to selecting technology partners with responsible AI practices.
One of Coca-Cola's early ventures into generative AI is the acclaimed advertising campaign "Masterpiece," a collaboration with OpenAI utilizing their DALL-E2 generative image model and ChatGPT. This endeavor showcases the fusion of AI-generated animation with live action, signaling a disruptive presence of generative AI in the advertising industry.
In line with its commitment to empowering creatives, Coca-Cola hosted the Real Magic Creative Academy, forging connections with independent artists and designers. This initiative aims to tap into emerging talent and inspiration following the success of the "Masterpiece" campaign. Additionally, Coca-Cola's "Create Real Magic" campaign invited artists to use their digital platform to create images, further emphasizing inclusivity.
Coke Studio, a music-making platform, has also integrated generative AI capabilities, allowing users to create songs, music videos, and album covers through interaction with a ChatGPT-powered bot. This demonstrates Coca-Cola's desire to align itself with the upcoming generation of artists and creators.
However, as generative AI becomes more prevalent in advertising, it raises questions about its impact on human creatives. While AI offers new creative avenues and democratizes the process, there are concerns that industries that traditionally commissioned human creatives may divert resources toward AI-generated art. Moreover, the increasing collaboration between corporate giants like Coca-Cola and tech firms like OpenAI raises questions about equal access to these transformative tools.
Nonetheless, the future of AI's role in creativity remains uncertain. While AI can augment creative processes, true human creativity and iconic works like the Coca-Cola logo still require human input. The responsible and ethical integration of AI into society will shape the outcomes, ensuring that AI complements rather than replaces human creativity. As commercial artists and designers, the ability to enhance skills with AI is likely to open new opportunities in the near term, rather than threatening creative professions.