6 Ways We’re Using AI at D1A

  • Text D1A Staff
  • Design Jasmine Bae

Last June, we hosted a roundtable discussion about the cultural effects of artificial intelligence. The general sentiment among the group of young creatives included, was one of simultaneous AI-anxiety and excitement: while an overreliance on AI tools might yield derivative work, those same tools could act as powerful creative resources. In the months since, the debate surrounding AI has only heightened. Whether it’s the Executive Creative Director chatbot or AI written fan-fic, generative AI has seeped into every algorithm across every industry. Its invisible and intangible hand plays a part in shaping experiences we have as consumers, creators and how we evolve our relationship to our work.

While we cannot ignore the ethical quandaries of plagiarism or privacy concerns, we can acknowledge that machine learning tools are not going anywhere. And, if we use these resources correctly, the constantly-improving technological abilities of AI can help us create beautiful things, hand in (invisible) hand.

We spoke to six Day One creatives to get an understanding of how they’re currently using AI and how these tools are shaping the way we relate to our work—and to each other. —Izzi Sneider

Exploring Where Creativity & AI Intersect

In January 2023, I had the opportunity to attend the Digital Life Design Conference in Munich a few short months after the launch of ChatGPT 3 in November 2022. I'll admit that between that late '22 Open AI announcement and the new-to-me DLD conference, the daily use of AI in my life was nonexistent. I went in as a novice and left the two-day session inspired by what I heard and quickly wanted to make it a point to spend some time every week learning.

Now, I look to make sure I have at least a baseline experience with as many new tools as possible—playing with the mainstream players (Runway, GBT Copilot), evolving creative tools (Figma, Flim, Kive) and also some of the more obscure ways makers are creating new experiences alongside or on top of the tech we hear about most regularly. One of my favorites is CannesGPT—a brilliant experiment to take all the winners from Cannes to help train the LLM (Large Language Model) to share back more relevant concepts. It's wonky at times, but it shows just how much better our work needs to be to layer in humanity and real life versus just going off of what might have worked in the past. If you play with it, take your new generative ideas and feed them to ECDGPT for a little AI on AI creative feedback loop. — Jamie Falkowski, Chief Creative Officer


Tracking Down New Tunes

“I’m your DJ X, cookin’ up some jams for you, as always,” my disembodied, algorithmically-trained personal disc jockey says upon an ersatz click on the blue-green icon in my Spotify app. He (the voice identifies as male) cycles through Ice Spice, Nicki Minaj, and Lil Uzi Vert before switching gears to introduce to my ears a bevy of adjacent artists to the ones I constantly stream, along with some songs by my favorite artists that I’ve never heard before. Like any DJ worth his Bushwick girlfriend, Spotify’s artificially intelligent one has, in fact, expanded my musical horizons. Though it will never supplant a tasteful friend or acquaintance who introduces you to new music that makes your hair stand up, it’s still preferable to listening to another algorithmically-produced playlist populated with “lowest common denominator” tunes. Is this the first use case of AI that feels like a value add? Sure, ChatGPT is great, but I guarantee the average person doesn’t need to crunch numbers or whatever it’s mostly used for. My prediction: in the near future, saying a “friend” recommended a new song will be the new version of when people say a “friend” told them something, when really they just watched it on TikTok. — Trey Taylor, Senior Director, Story


Talent Scouting, Without Scouring the Internet

I work with creators, and Google Gemini (previously Bard) has really proven itself as the go-to mainstream AI platform for my work. What I like about Gemini is that it’s powered by Google, which means it’s inherently built for search. Before, when clients would send over a brief and we began the talent search phase, I could spend hours just Googling creators who fit. Now, I’m able to use Gemini to make this search 7 times faster! If you give Gemini a couple examples, it’s able to spit back a list of creators who exist in a similar category. And if you give it parameters, it can also make sure those creators are aligned with what you’re looking for. I can’t really trust platforms like ChatGPT with this, because that tool only has knowledge up until 2022, so it's not great for being able to keep up with the trends. But with Gemini, so long as the info exists on Google, you can get closer to a list that’s actually driving current culture.— Deshé Gully, Associate Strategist


Perfecting the Message

I have to admit, when AI first became a discussion point on social media, I wanted nothing to do with it. I’m a huge proponent of human-made creations, and viewed those that supported its use as enemies of progress (even tuning out friends who spoke of it enthusiastically). Surprisingly, months down the line, I can say that I make use of Notion’s AI feature several times a week. Yes, most folks use the platform to plan out their day-to-day lives. However, as a communications professional, I’ll often ask for ideas on how to rephrase messaging so it’s more engaging or action-oriented, and refine from there. It’s honestly been more helpful than I could have ever imagined, especially when inspiration is low. — Nicole Rodriguez, Strategist, Comms


Checking the Blueprints

Everything that we put out in the world, we are creating that, that’s original. That’s us.

Where we’ve found the most early success with AI is using it “below the surface.” We use it to get ideas on paper faster, automate, see things quickly, and ultimately explore what could be—faster than we ever have before. Due to AI the bar on mediocrity has been raised, and it's making great work that much more valuable. So with that, it almost puts more emphasis on human brainpower to finish the thought and put work that has a human touch out in the world. — Dan Lustig, Group Creative Director


DALL-E-ing, not Dilly-Dallying

I started using generative AI art platforms in 2019 and 2020 to experiment with creating different compositions. Art Breeder quickly became a favorite, which allowed me to “breed” images by adjusting various traits. Over the years, AI has advanced significantly. Today, I frequently integrate it into my workflow, with ChatGPT being my most used tool during my creative process. I also occasionally use the AI integration in Adobe platforms. DALL-E is a helpful platform to help sketch out ideas before execution, but I’ve recently been seeing some insanely realistic AI images. As creatives, we devote a lot of time to mastering new tools to bring our visions to life. I believe AI advancements can expedite our inspiration process, turning our ideas into reality faster. It’s crucial for individuals to develop their own identity, style and originality to stand out in the market. AI will remain a tool like past technological advancements. While some basic skills may be replaced, taste-making and original thinking will remain irreplaceable.— Juriel Furukawa, Senior Designer