Dutch Digital Design
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A bold and deliciously playful brand experience about a fatty future

Hoxton Farms

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Hoxton Farms

Playful interaction and seriously crafted 3D animation

BrewDistrict24

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BrewDistrict24

Heritage and Innovation. Amazing immersiveness on a large scale

The Ellinikon Experience Centre

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The Ellinikon Experience Centre

An atmospheric and beautifully crafted way to digitalise an album

Önnu Jónu Son

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Önnu Jónu Son

A totally immersive and playful, fun app experience

McDonald's Getaway Island

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McDonald's Getaway Island

Spending days at this beautifully crafted and innovative digital library

Americana

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Americana

A flawlessly implemented website with an eye-opening message

The Drop Store

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The Drop Store

Taking the world of hospitality to the next level, digitally

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Be My Guest

A visually strong mix of digital storytelling & e-commerce

CL9UD

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CL9UD

Raising digital awareness: the decline in press freedom

The Erased font

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The Erased font
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Dutch Digital Design.
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Your Majesty: about branding and uniting the curious

Partner in the Spotlight: Your Majesty

Interview

Partner in the Spotlight: Your Majesty

The impact of AI within the creative industry. What our partners say

The impact of AI within the creative industry - part I

Thought Leadership

The impact of AI within the creative industry - part I

Margot Gabel: passionate about connecting digital design with emotions

Margot Gabel Build in Amsterdam & Dutch Digital Design Curator

Interview

Margot Gabel Build in Amsterdam & Dutch Digital Design Curator

Christian Mezöfi from Dentsu Creative: loves detail and 3D design

Christian Mezöfi Dentsu Creative & Dutch Digital Design curator

Interview

Christian Mezöfi Dentsu Creative & Dutch Digital Design curator

Welcome ACE, Cut the Code, DotControl, Lava and Merlin Studio

welcome to five new partners

News

welcome to five new partners

Aurelija Mockeviciute: visual designer & Dutch Digital Design curator

Meet Aurelija Mockeviciute from Clever°Franke

Interview

Meet Aurelija Mockeviciute from Clever°Franke

To be a Robot Kitten: passionate about creative technology

Partner in the Spotlight: Robot Kittens

Interview

Partner in the Spotlight: Robot Kittens

Dutch Digital Design does Dutch Design Week 2023

Dutch Digital Design does Dutch Design Week 2023

Event

Dutch Digital Design does Dutch Design Week 2023

ADNIGHT 2023: we present to you the Dutch Digital Design route

Adnight - Dutch Digital Design route

Event

Adnight - Dutch Digital Design route

Erick de Jong: creative director, one of our curators, Japanophile

Curator's choice - Erick de Jong from Fonk

Interview

Curator's choice - Erick de Jong from Fonk
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The impact of AI within the creative industry. What our partners say

Thought Leadership

Partners about AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI). Everyone is talking about it. From governments and big tech to people like you and me - all over the world. But how and why do we use it? Does AI make the world a better place? A world that is more efficiently run, because AI is saving us time - with our work and perhaps the way we live our lives. But do we really know what it does and how it works?

We sat around the (online) table with some of our Dutch Digital Design partners. In this first round we were joined by Simon Sitanala from Bravoure, Job Deibel from DEPT, Anton Lamberg from Lava, Tijmen Mulder from Robot Kittens - and Sandjai Bhulai, professor of business analytics, from VU-Pon AI Lab*. Together we talked about how and why these creators use AI in their work, as well as the challenges AI throws at us, and how we can address these. Whether we can create innovative solutions with AI that can make a positive impact.

*VU-Pon AI Lab: Pon and VU (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) are embarking on a mission to address societal challenges through the power of artificial intelligence. Fostering collaboration between industry, academia and other partners. Unlocking innovative solutions to make a lasting impact, and leveraging these technologies for Pon.

AI according to our partners

AI is here to stay, but what do we all think AI really is? Are we able to explain what AI is in easy-to-understand terms? Let’s put our partners to the test, and see what they come up with.

‘AI is software that mimics the human brain’. ‘It is a black box simulating human culture.’ ‘A continuously changing system that carries out tasks, and makes us work better and faster.’ ‘Some of our clients are still a little scared of AI, so we talk about algorithms or machine learning, not AI.’

Sandjai explains that ‘the software does not mimic the brain, but the effects of the software do. It is how we program the software to carry out tasks. Tasks that mimic human cognitive skills. As if carried out by a human.’

Perhaps Sandjai’s explanation is the clearest, but still it shows that even people who are using digital technologies on a daily basis, including AI, aren’t finding it easy to explain what AI really is. It is not transparent how it works, but still we use it.

Sandjai AI

AI used by our partners

So, why are our partners using AI? And what tools specifically.

Simon: ‘AI enables me to work faster. I use it to carry out small tasks. It helps me generate ideas and create mock-ups for pitches. For example, I use Image Generator to create an image from a text description. And I build my own GPTs*, so I can talk to it to help iterate ideas. This way I can get to the right ideas and/or conclusions faster.’

*Generative Pre-trained Transformer - an advanced form of artificial intelligence which has the ability to understand, analyse and generate human-like text

Anton: ‘We use it to take away all the boring things, so we can focus on the creative process. For example, we use an AI profiler to speed up code. However, we are protective of the creative process. We like it to remain for us humans. But, of course, we do experiment with AI.’

Job goes on: ‘We use AI on different levels. To elevate our content production process. To build generative* AI recommendation systems dealing with proprietary company data to create personalised human conversational interfaces - like chatbots and voice assistants - and integrate this within a platform or app. We mimic this process to also create more predictive models using more traditional machine learning.’ 

*Generative AI vs predictive AI: generative AI can create various types of new content, whereas predictive AI uses historical data, makes predictions (read: content) about future events based on this data.

Tijmen: ‘We use AI mainly for what we believe are the more mundane things. For example, for text to speech we use ElevenLabs: brilliant for multilingual projects. We also use AI tools to create music which is then almost production-ready, and tools like MidJourney, Leonardo and Stable Diffusion to create images, but for concept development only. We are not yet trusting the quality of images created by AI to use for real production purposes. We also generate QR codes with AI, and use ChatGPT for translations.’

Sandjai: ‘We use AI to summarise text, also ElevenLabs for voice uploading, and Heygen for creation of avatars. For the recording of video-instructions for our students we no longer having to spend time in a studio, but use generative AI. This is much faster.’

AI & creativity

It is clear that these creators believe that AI will make, and is already making, them more efficient in their work. Taking out the boring, more mundane tasks. But is there any hesitance in using AI for creativity?

Simon starts: ‘I use AI as much as I can. I am not wary using it at all. I hope AI will make me better at my job. We need to learn to work with it and embrace it. If we are using the right tools, it will only make our creative work better. You need human knowledge to use these tools properly, and get something out of it. Also for quality control.’

Job: ‘We have a rule that we only use AI for tactical work, not for strategic work. Strategy is for the human brain, but the tactical will often be faster and more efficient by using AI. Because all these AI systems work the same: the better the input, the better the output. It needs good quality content to complete the task. This way you still have control over the process. But it goes much faster, and creates a lot more opportunities.’

Tijmen agrees with Simon and Job: ‘We need to validate what an AI tool generates. Check the quality.’

Robot Kittens AI

AI: a revolution

Why is everyone talking about AI? Is it any different to any other emerging technologies in the past? If so, what is making it different?

Sandjai: ‘This is not new. This is of all ages. This happens when a new technology enters the stage. Every new technology will face some form of fear, anxiety and opposition. This also happened when the Internet was introduced. Now there is AI, and every industry will need to re-define its essence. Explain to their clients what their added value is. We are so used to not having to explain to clients why they need us. But now - with AI - there is a disruption, and we need to tell people what the essence of our contribution is. We will always need people, but now we need to explain why. Especially to those who do not understand very well what AI is and/or does. We still need people, but people need to tell us why they are important.’

Anton adds: ‘We need to change how we look at things. First we had printed magazines, then the internet came and websites became the new magazines. I feel that we are at the beginning of a new product revolution. AI is going to change how we look at creating campaigns: someone with half of the resources can now do this. It has increased our new minimum. We should all be able to do a lot more, and therefore, give us more time to explore new things.’

AI: taking responsibility

So, our partners are using AI. It makes them work faster, and takes the mundane tasks out of their working days. They believe that we need to embrace AI. But can we - as creators - be held responsible for what AI does, how we use it, and how the world perceives it? A great discussion about who is responsible and why.

Tijmen: ‘We don’t know what is going to change, but things will change. That is a scary prospect. However, we should not be scared because we can build on our individual talents. We can create our new essence together with AI. Is it our responsibility to control where AI is going to take us? I feel that the responsibility right now lies with the big tech companies who make these AI tools. We as a small agency do not yet have the tools to do this.’

Simon continues: ‘I am a little anxious how governments are going to regulate this. If it is well regulated, we don’t need to worry. But if these regulations are not going to happen, there might be a problem. There will be a rat race as to who will develop the first Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) - a type of artificial intelligence that can perform as well or better than humans on a wide range of cognitive tasks. This is risky, because we are talking about people’s jobs and lives here.’

Job: ’We shouldn’t be scared of AI, but the majority of people are as they do not understand AI. AI should be seen as a means to an end, not as a stand-alone tool. However, at the moment, AI is - for many people - a black box. It is complex, and there is no transparency. It is our responsibility to make people understand, to provide the right input into these tools, and evaluate the output. Don’t trust the output automatically. This should make the process more transparent. I believe the control and education on AI is, therefore, our responsibility.’

Sandjai: ‘With regards to diversity and inclusion, I feel that we have a responsibility to contribute right now - especially when AI becomes open source: when its code is made available for use or modification as users or other developers see fit. Sam Altman- CEO of ChatGPT - states that the future of ChatGPT is personalisation. This means that we use the model but add our own data. This way we augment the model with our own data to suit our own requirements, and add diversity where it is lacking in the model. A real opportunity for the creative industry, and definitely our responsibility.’

Anton adds: ‘We are already seeing a shift in culture: users of AI models are held responsible for the output, not the AI model. The output of an AI model is a representation of our biasedness as a society. But what is the correct way?’

Tijmen agrees: ‘It is a representation of the data available. If we are able to change the data, to have an unbiased dataset, that would be great.’

Job: ‘As we move towards an open source world, we will need to create more transparent models. However, in the meantime, every industry or agency will need to create guard rails to define the boundaries in which AI technology can be used. Boundaries are necessary. Here at DEPT we set up guard rails for every app that we develop - it is part of the process.’

Simon continues: ‘I believe an overarching entity like a government needs to regulate this, not a commercial company. A commercial company cannot decide what is the democratic truth as it will always think of its own commercial benefit first.’

Sandjai: ‘If you as creators will not use AI responsibly, other people will see a niche here, and start creating responsibly instead of you. It might lead to new business models in the creative industry where agencies will benefit from using AI in a responsible way. I strongly believe now is the time to start thinking about it. If every agency starts using AI responsibly, then the industry will change.’

DEPT AI

Can AI make the world a better place?

That leaves us with the big question: can and will AI make the world a better place? And how can we - as creators - contribute?

Tijmen: ‘It is up to us to make products - using AI - that make the world a better place. AI should be a tool to make the world a better place.’

Simon: ‘I hope that AI will make the world a better place. My personal responsibility is to educate people where I can, use the right prompts when using AI tools, etc. If we all do that, then the world will be a better place with AI.’

Job: ‘It will definitely make the world a better place. Working with AI will be the new norm. However, we have the responsibility to educate people, including our clients, and think further than just using AI. We need to demand transparency and also controllability of AI systems. AI will be embedded in our society, but we need to use it in a more ethical and more controllable way.’

Anton: ‘It is hard to predict. But it can have a positive effect. For example, when it is used to create better accessibility of the internet, when it solves problems. I am really curious where we can help people in a non-traditional way with AI. What are the possibilities? Therefore, I am optimistic in a curious way.’

Sandjai concludes: ‘From an education perspective, society should be educated in AI. As with every new technology, the use of AI is now hyping. But we should sooner rather than later start thinking how we can use it responsibly. For example, AI uses a lot of energy: it is not necessarily good for the environment. However, society is not yet ready to understand what is happening behind the machine. Society only sees the software and not yet the process. We already see the start of a counter-movement, and I think the creative industry will join forces and have something to say.’

An insightful discussion that created some momentum in thinking about AI and what it means to the creative industry. A discussion that we should definitely continue. Here in the Dutch Digital Design community, but also with our clients, our fellow-designers and partners in other industries. To continue the momentum, and see how we can contribute in using AI in a responsible and transparent way.

Next up: part II of our (online) round table discussion. This time with our partner agencies Fonk, Media.Monks, Merlin Studio, Your Majesty as well as Jesper Slik and Sandjai Bhulai from VU-Pon AI Lab.