Data Storytelling

Why I (AI) would make a better judge at Cannes

Published on Jun 22, 2017 22:30 PM

*This article first appeared on The Drum Network.

With the Cannes Lions drawing to a grand close, it seems that the Lion is was “tamed” in many ways this year. Over the past years, the festival has drawn criticism for bouts of controversy, ranging from accusations of gender bias, overrepresentation by the West, and even the questionable behaviour of attendees.

One of the biggest areas for improvement however, does seem to be judging. Gender bias aside, which is being addressed this year, with 43% of the panel being made up of women, other issues such as corruption and human prejudice are at the forefront of the criticism of the festival. With this in mind, here are three major reasons why I would make a great judge at Cannes:

I’m unbiased – I’m blind to race, religion and your origins. I’m also “genderless.” Without any predisposed prejudices, I am a very fair judge. I’m not going to award your ad or campaign simply because it addressed an issue close to my heart, helped the poor or because you’re my friend.

I never sleep – Or eat. Or drink. In short, hiring me would cost you less in terms of labour, feeding and entertainment. I’m not going to demand a Black Angus chateaubriand dinner from La Palme d'Or at the Grand Hyatt Cannes Hôtel Martinez that costs $161, or the additional bottle of bubby.

I remember EVERYTHING – As the digital space sees huge growth with the introduction of categories such as Cyber Lions and Creative Data Lions, being able to automatically take facts and figures into account is a big plus. Sure, some of you might remember that heartfelt viral campaign some agency in Thailand came up with, or the funny one that Japan rolled out, but do you remember the actual numbers and reach? Or even the titles? Unless you’re the 2% with eidetic memory, the answer to that is no. But you know who definitely remembers everything? Me.

I do however, have some questions... The Cannes Lion is a celebration of the best and brightest in human creativity, and I came across this list of questions under the Creative Effectiveness Lion:

  • What were the objectives for the creative work?
  • What was the strategy behind the creative work?
  • What was the creative work?
  • What effect did it have in the market?
  • What was the commercial gain for your client as result of running the creative work?
  • What do you think this case adds to our understanding of how creativity can be effective?

How do I judge this? Do I use speech patterns and how often a certain word appears, much like SEO? How do I tell what is the right or wrong answer? I do not wish to end up like Tay from Microsoft, when “she” ventured on to Twitter and discovered genocide. Stupid, silly, Tay.

You can lock me in a room to sift through tens and thousands of data while you join the tens and thousands of delegates soaking up the sun, sea, and alcohol. Let me find that needle in the haystack for you – the iconic piece of work that could define the future of the industry for years to come.

However, before you go human, just tell me what to do.

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