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Inside David Droga’s Early Experiments With OpenAI’s Sora

CANNES, France—Ad veteran David Droga is one of the few people with the keys to OpenAI’s text-to-video tool, Sora, and it’s already reshaping how he thinks about creativity.

“Not all creativity is worth saving,” said the CEO of Accenture Song in a conversation at the Cannes Lions Festival with OpenAI chief technology officer Mira Murati.

“The majority of advertising is not creative. It’s written by something far more dangerous than AI: research,” he continued, observing how tools like Sora could eradicate the “messy middle” of the creative process without displacing jobs at the top.

Droga’s session offered the industry a glimpse at how Sora could be used to create and test ads in the future, opening with a film-noir-style video of Cannes showing vignettes of people walking up and down the Croisette.

The twist? It wasn’t archive footage, but a video made by Droga and his team. He also debuted a surreal music video created with help from Accenture Song creative technologist Howard Boland for artist 2Ton.

On the ground at Cannes Lions, the festival has been dominated by conversations around how generative AI will transform content creation and data practices. However, questions linger about trust, ethics and safety.

Murati said OpenAI is working with creatives, policymakers and educators to understand how its technology will impact society and to put guardrails in place to mitigate misuse. 

Man vs. machine

Droga suggested that ad executives in the audience were likely caught between “excitement, enthusiasm and terror” about gen AI’s ability to devour creativity.

“The way that we design it, develop it and bring it into the world really matters,” said Murati. “It’s not a predetermined outcome. When we think about job displacement or how it will elevate certain skills, roles, that’s quite dependent on how we shape the technology, and the way that we shape it will then shape our society.”

While every client Droga works with is excited by the opportunities AI presents to outdo competitors, move at speed and find efficiencies, “they are also paranoid that the competition is going to wipe them out because of that,” he said.

Most, however, don’t know how to best implement the tech. “They just look at it and think, ‘Oh, I’ll never have to pay a copywriter again,’ or, ‘I’ll never have to pay a photographer again,’” he said.

Job displacement is not the issue for Droga: It’s whether marketers can evolve at the same pace as the technology disrupting them. “The necessity to create things that connect us and are meaningful—that will never go out of style,” he said.

This chimes with what sources have told ADWEEK: Tools like Sora aren’t necessarily job-killers, but instead prompt a shift in the skillsets required to maximize their effectiveness. 

Agencies jostle to invest in AI

OpenAI debuted Sora—which uses machine learning to generate original, realistic videos up to one minute long—four months ago.

External beta testing has been limited to a group of OpenAI “red teamers” (experts handpicked by the ChatGPT owner).

Accenture Song—which works with brands including Facebook, NRMA Insurance and Peugeot—recently committed to spend $3 billion over three years on AI tools and talent to help drive clients’ bottom line.

The business joins a crowd of ad networks investing in the tech, with WPP and Havas each committing $400 million over the next three years.

Originally Appeared Here

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