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This article was published on March 31, 2016

    This advertising agency just hired an AI creative director – is the future Shingy-less?

    This advertising agency just hired an AI creative director – is the future Shingy-less?
    Ben Woods
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    Ben Woods

    Europe Editor

    Ben is a technology journalist with a specialism in mobile devices and a geeky love of mobile spectrum issues. Ben used to be a professional Ben is a technology journalist with a specialism in mobile devices and a geeky love of mobile spectrum issues. Ben used to be a professional online poker player. You can contact him via Twitter or on Google+.

    David Shing, or simply ‘Shingy,’ is well-known in technology circles. And for good reason, he’s AOL’s energetic and up-beat ‘Digital Prophet’ – oft jetting around the world to talk about the future of technology.

    But how long will Shingy’s (and other similar roles) survive? Not all that long perhaps, if McCann‘s hiring of an artificially intelligent creative director in its Japanese office is anything to go by.

    According to The Drum, the bot’s called AI-CD β and was created by the company’s ‘Millenials taskforce’ (a fittingly ‘on-point’ name for a company that just ‘hired’ an AI) and will help in making suggestions for commercials, based on logic it derives from studying previous TV ads.

    This is, apparently, no gimmick though – AI-CD β will be working on real accounts, which will probably make it a whole lot easier for clients to reject proposals, knowing full well no human feelings have been involved along the way.

    AI can’t quite get up on stage and put on the show that Shingy can, but the day that it can probably isn’t all that far away – unless gravity-defying hair and using phrases like “fail forward foundation” are also an essential part of the job, in which case Shingy’s probably safe for a while longer.

    Of course, what this really means is that AI is creeping yet further into our lives, and with Microsoft’s Skype chat bots, and Google’s AI beating Go world champions, even ‘creative’ tasks are now fair game.