Featured in Collection 05 Human & Machine
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AI Extends the Creative Mind

AI Extends the Creative Mind

Featured in Creativity

The sum of human knowledge and creativity exists across more than one person’s mind, working alone. In fact, we’re such social animals that we’re only capable of reaching our full potential through collaboration. It’s our unique capability to document, share, and build upon each other’s ideas that results in the most impressive accomplishments.

Cognitive researchers, psychologists, and other social scientists call it distributed cognition. It’s a framework for understanding how ideas and knowledge exist across organizations, society, and culture. There are two key areas of study. The first examines the social dynamics of knowledge — the way we share and collaborate to develop ideas. The second considers our use of media and technology to document, store, retrieve, and distribute knowledge. When you talk through a problem with a co-worker or express yourself through digital media, that’s distributed cognition in action.

It’s why, in part, there’s real power in getting creative ops right. The combination of a great idea alongside optimal, collaborative workflows and efficient technology supercharges the potential of distributed cognition and creativity across working groups.

Technology as creative partner

We’ve long understood that humans are more intelligent and creative when working together. Now, with advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), we’re adding machines to the mix in an entirely new way. Although media technology has always been a part of offloading, storing, and distributing knowledge, AI brings the potential to move machines into the social aspects of distributed cognition — as powerful creative partners.

Of course, in a creative ecosystem, the more people who can use a tool, the more powerful it becomes. That’s why we’ve built Adobe Sensei — the AI technology that powers intelligence across Adobe products to design and deliver digital experiences — to become more accessible, intuitive, and user-friendly.

In fact, Sensei is currently embedded into dozens of Adobe product features across three key focus areas: computational creativity, experience intelligence, and content understanding.

Computational creativity: In the Creative Cloud, Sensei helps to automate mundane tasks, allowing creatives to spend more time on inspiration and design. For example, content intelligence in Adobe Stock uses deep learning to search and tag images automatically and makes intelligent recommendations when a user searches for images. Another feature, Face Aware Editing, is capable of finding faces in an image and using “landmarks” such as eyebrows, lips, and eyes to understand their position and change the subject’s expression without compromising image quality — and saving hours of painstaking editing.

Experience intelligence: In the Experience Cloud, Adobe Sensei powers multiple predictive and personalization capabilities. Here, Sensei is used to algorithmically determine the impact of different marketing touchpoints on consumers’ decisions to engage with a brand, determine the effectiveness of different campaigns, and make optimized marketing investment recommendations. It also powers features like one-click personalization and intelligent alerts that automatically detect data anomalies and send automated messages when something material is happening.

Content Understanding: Sensei-powered features are bringing new capabilities and new levels of productivity to Document Cloud as well. Natural language processing provides text understanding, topic modeling, and sentiment analysis of digital documents. Semantic structure analysis can be used to identify features such as paragraphs, tables, and headings from visual features. And features like document similarity are capable of analyzing similar documents and highlighting their differences.

AI for everyone

With Sensei you don’t have to be a computing engineer or data scientist to take advantage of AI as a creative partner. When AI is accessible, it frees creatives to act more like conductors or composers of intelligent technology. Think of it as being a digital experience DJ — you can sample, mix, and create amazing, artistic mash-ups without having to master the complex and daunting aspects of AI.

In this spirit, we recently announced five new Adobe Sensei content services at Adobe Summit that are available on Adobe I/O as a private beta. To learn more or request access visit  Adobe I/O.

  • Auto Tag: an image recognition service that returns (object-centric and concept-centric) tags that describe the image and supports custom model training.
  • Image Quality: an API that analyzes image quality along dimensions — quality, balancing element, color harmony, interesting content, depth of field, object emphasis, repetition, rule of thirds, and symmetry.
  • Auto Crop & Body Crop: a “content-aware” image cropping service. Body crop is particularly focused on human figures and operations designed for garment/e-commerce applications. Both support custom model training.
  • Image Cutout: automatically selects foreground and background in an image for use in image composition (such as background replacement).
  • Color Swatch: provides automatic computation of image swatches based upon prominent colors and patterns.

As AI matures, it will play an increasingly central role in the potential of human and machine to co-create — but it won’t replace humans or human creativity. That’s because AI and humans excel at different parts of the creative process. AI is fantastic at pattern recognition, automation, style application, and efficiency in routine work, but the human brain has no equal when it comes to human-to-human communication, complex thought, idea generation, and ingenuity.

The role of creative ops is to leverage the best of each to match content velocity with faster creation, improve signal recognition by capturing insights, prioritize more effectively by focusing on what matters, and magnify efficiencies to get more done with less.

I’ll be sharing more thoughts on the power of AI as a creative partner and its utility for creative operations at Creative Operations Exchange West, April 23-24, 2018, in San Francisco — hope to see you there.

Attending Creative Operations Exchange West?

Register now and use the discount code ADOBE200 to get $200 off conference registration.

For more information about the conference, you can email Rhonda West.

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