President and chief creative officer of BETC Stéphane Xiberras, gave an entertaining presentation complete with comical memes to explain how he worked to create Canal+’s landmark AiMEN campaign.
He talked about his work with BETC head of digital and integrated producer Bao Tu Ngoc to promote Jude Law’s show The Young Pope using artificial intelligence through social networks.
Although it was too expensive to develop a solution from scratch, a basic fix was not acceptable – particularly, as Xiberras pointed out, when “talking about the big house up there for the big man up there” on a “divine mission”.
Ngoc’s solution predicted intentions from interactions using a machine learning mechanism to detect work patterns from sentences and learn, focussing on the seven deadly sins. A database of 15000 phrases with around 2000 examples per sin was formed and they started teaching the “baby robot”.
Two months later the machine was running, but not to an acceptable level so interns were hired to create more examples featuring social media slang and jargon – allowing accuracy to rise from around 50% to 75%.
Although initially, they wanted the robot to be perfect and were unsure as to whether to launch the machine without 100% rate of success, Xiberras said “if you want to be mainstream, you’re never innovating”, so decided to launch the bot anyway.
One million replies later, with a powerful supercomputer crunching away the Bible in the background, social was “very busy and funny”. Xiberras concluded: “it was impossible and that’s why we did it… AiMEN”.