In 2017, computer vision company GumGum was perceived as a pure ad tech player, but wanted to shift its brand perception. GumGum’s small marketing team was charged with creating a visually-driven campaign that had to clearly linkGumGum’s artificial intelligence expertise to creativity, and thought leadership was the best way to do this. As an agency specializing in content, Industrious Content was considered the natural partner for this project.

Industrious pitched the idea that artificial intelligence, poorly understood as it is by most lay people, represents an existential threat to human supremacy. Marketing professionals were just beginning to accept the new technology, but artistic expression? Surely that is the unique realm of humans. Our thought leadership paper would exploit that tension by exploring the intersection of art and artificial intelligence.

The cornerstone of the campaign would be a white paper report based on research carried out by a team at Rutgers University Art and Artificial Intelligence Lab, plus an interactive element -- the Turing Test for art. Five artists, plus one art-trained AI, would produce works of art in an Abstract Expressionist style. The team had created a generative adversarial network, trained on over 60,000 paintings, that could both determine what was art, and create it. Then, the public would be invited to guess which artwork was created by a machine, and which was created by a human. 

Together, the team created a pop-culture sensation. CNN and CNBC picked up the Turing Test for art immediately, featuring CMO Ben Plomion as an expert on the intersection of art and artificial intelligence. Quartz and Scientific American quickly followed with their own coverage too.

For a B2B marketing campaign, the results were impressive: 231,000 impressions, with over 5,000 people clicking through to learn more.