Cannes Journal - Monday

Jun 18, 2018

This year at Cannes, we'll be sharing our thoughts and observations from on the ground in a daily journal. We’ve gotten to hear some amazing speakers discuss topics ranging from the future of AI to to the impact of Fire and Fury, and we’re excited for the week ahead. Below are our highlights from day one.


Session: Accelerating Creativity in the Age of AI
What happens if we view AI as a creative tool, rather than a creative threat? This session hosted by Adobe, Natasha Jen of Pentagram and artist Mario Klingemann explored the immense potential AI has to amplify and accelerate human creativity.

Key takeaways:

  • Artificial intelligence can enable and enhance creativity by removing the mundane tasks that take up significant amounts of time. This then frees up time and mental energy to focus solely on creative ideas.
  • AI will raise the bar for creativity, not lower it. As AI programs learn how to create art or storyboards, it will increase the quality of the creative ideas people are able to produce. If everyone gets really good at something, it becomes the new normal -- which will, in turn, push creativity to new levels.
  • Machine learning will have a significant impact on the next generation of creative tools. AR specifically will see outsized growth, not necessarily in terms of novel applications, but in practical applications that offer helpful knowledge about a particular thing in the context of a particular environment.
  • AI is already driving huge breakthroughs in productivity and efficiency. Using their AI-powered program Sensei, Adobe turned a quick sketch into a full campaign poster using voice command tech on stage. It took three minutes to do something that would usually take three days.

Notable quotes:

  • “AI opens the potential to discover new things. And taps into the emotions that come with discovery.” -- Natasha Jen, Partner, Pentagram
  • “If everything is beautiful, then nothing is. It becomes the new normal.” -- Mario Klingemann, Artist
  • “AI assisted tools open up your imagination of what’s possible.” -- Natasha Jen, Partner, Pentagram
  • “I view myself as both an artist and a toolmaker. I’m a musician who has to build his own instruments. I have to learn how to build the language, then give the machine the language in a way it understands. The most exciting part is the unexpected that comes out of that.” -- Mario Klingemann, Artist


Session: Fire and Fury - The New Normal?

Journalist Michael Wolff sat down with advertising legend Jeff Goodby to discuss how he gained access to the White House to write “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.” He elaborates on the relationships surrounding Donald Trump, the current political reporting landscape, and the parallels to the entertainment world in the Trump presidency.

Key takeaways:

  • The nature of today’s political reporting creates hyperrationality when it comes to politics. Trump lives in a realm of spontaneity; there is little link between cause and effect, which makes writing cohesive, informed journalism about his White House incredibly difficult.
  • The frequency of headlines and levels of chaos overwhelms people. As a result, we now have a culture where people rely on one media source for their information, and forego other forms of deductive reasoning.
  • Reality television is based off of conflict, conflict, and more conflict -- and we see this narrative model played out in the Trump presidency. In such a world, an individual may not be thinking about the outcome of their actions, and instead focuses on creating conflict for the sake of it.
  • Trump has created a media atmosphere centered around these conflicts, causing typical political journalism to stretch itself into 24/7 coverage. This takes autonomy out of reporters’ hands, and places the President in the role of content creator.
  • The future of Trump’s presidency may neither be good or bad. Because Trump is inconsistent with his beliefs and statements, there is no net gain or loss from the decisions he makes and the viewpoints he expresses.

Notable quotes:

  • “There is an element of entertainment surrounding all politics.” - Jeff Goodby
  • “I ultimately found myself writing about the reactions that people around [Donald Trump] have towards him.” - Michael Wolff
  • “He is very hard to cover because it is hard to cover him without it working out for him.” - Michael Wolff on reporting on Trump
  • “Cause and effect has no place in Donald Trump’s political world; it is all spontaneous utterance. So as a political reporter, how do you write about that?” - Michael Wolff


Session: Androids, AI, Future of Creativity

Is AI a threat to some jobs? Historically, technological innovations have always freed humans from labor, which could also be true if for AI. If so, what roles will humans play? While the definition of work will change, what can only humans do and what will we work for? What will happiness mean for humans? And, can agencies find a place in all this?

Key takeaways:

  • Productivity is on the rise, so is technological complexity.
  • With more AI, people will have more time for education and personal growth which could mean more philosophers in the future.
  • Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro theorizes that diversity supports evolution… and that diversity = happiness.
  • AI will lead to creating new alliances, new communities and new societies.

Notable quotes:

  • A warm welcome in Japanese from Totto, an Android TV host and Japanese celebrity (video