Cannes Briefing: As generative AI plays out, OpenAI believes AI development is a ‘shared responsibility’

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CANNES, France — Throughout the Palais, the various beaches, cabanas and walking down the Croisette, it’s impossible to go anywhere in Cannes without overhearing someone talking about AI. Or joking about how AI is everywhere. You’ve probably also seen clear signifiers that a company is not only using AI but has been for some time; Meta’s Beach, for example, has a timeline of the company’s AI innovations dating its first use of an AI-enabled feed back to 2006. It’s almost as if the industry is playing defense, ready to say, “Hey, don’t worry! We’re on top of it!” to anyone worried that the ad world is somehow behind when it comes to AI. (Though the introduction of new technology and ad land embracing said new technology with arms wide open — even if it’s a dud — to let clients know they’ve got it covered is a regular occurance.) 

But for all the conversations, jokes and signs, much of that chatter is still surface level. On panels and in conversations there’s a common refrain that AI is simply a new tool in the latest line of tools for creatives to do more, do it better and do it faster. Comparisons to previous systems of working that have since evolved with the introduction of new technology, like say how illustrations were swapped for photography or noting that AI is akin to the introduction of Photoshop, happen with a startling frequency. Much of what’s said is focused on the need for humans as well as the new technology. There is a seemingly unshakable optimism about what AI can do for the ad world if the ad world learns to use AI as a tool — despite the many lingering questions about what AI will do to creatives or if there will be harm to the ad world. 

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