In the age of AI this is the reason why you should hire SCA talent

Much is being spoken about how artificial intelligence and machine learning are on course to disrupt our way of life. I am fortunate enough to have been able to enjoy the disruption from the epicentre as a tech entrepreneur and this storm looks even wilder. 

This new technology cycle has the potential to unlock new levels of productivity for humanity, or take us into new depths. Probably both, sooner than we would believe.

So it is natural that I have been reflecting on what this means for the School of Communication Arts and its wider family of agencies. 

You will already know that it will soon be possible to create an entire advertising campaign with very limited craft skills. That’s because tools are being made available that can create images and films mimicking the style of artists and film directors, employing deep fake actors, reading scripts written by machines, emulating Oscar-winning screenwriters, and deploying real-time feedback to iterate the scripts in order to increase response rates.

When students spend time at the SCA they are literally doing that – spending time. My job as the course leader is to decide how our students should spend that time and we have always decided to overspend on strategy whilst taking budget away from time practising craft.

For example, Uri Baruchin teaches strategy masterclasses most weeks. Shekhar Deshpande shares a series of fantastic classes. So does John Lowery.  

We spend the entire first term learning how to find and solve problems. We learn how to think. We learn who we are and who we are with. We learn good habits. We don’t touch craft at all, much to the annoyance of our students.

We spend most of the second term doing the same, only starting to ramp up on the craft classes in the build-up to the D&AD New Blood awards. Even though D&AD is the home of design and art direction craft, we win more Pencils than any other ad school because our students’ thinking is so sharp.

Becoming a great art director or copywriter isn’t simply a race to become the next Picasso or Shakespeare, mastering craft. Ideas before execution. Taste before consumption.

In other words, we need to get the thinking right before we can even think about creating a campaign. And we must develop good taste before we can think about serving up treats for people to enjoy.

This new wave of artificial intelligence technology will bring disruption to our industry. More content will be created, simply because it can be created. More noise. Less attention. More ad blockers. Less trust. More made by algorithms. Less made strategically.

Our faculty are already investigating how to incorporate AI/ML tools into their practice and into their classes. We will be sharing some of these classes with our agency partners soon.

Our partners fund us because we invest so much time into thinking skills, as evidenced by testimonials from Portfolio Days over the years.

When it’s as easy to create content as it is to consume it, working with people who understand human insights and how to apply them to their practice becomes an obvious competitive advantage.

As you will have seen from these two videos (we have one for each of our thirteen years) our alumni are very, very employable.

It’s the reason why our partners keep asking us to help them hire SCA talent at all levels.

If you are alumni and we haven’t heard from you for a while then please get in touch because demand for SCA talent will only increase with the emergence of artificial intelligence.

After all, when the world zigs towards artificial intelligence the best agencies zag towards human intelligence.

Follow SCA Dean, Marc Lewis on Twitter @SCA2Dean

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