Picture the scene: Tom Cruise entering GAP wearing somebody else’s eyes. He is greeted by the friendly hologram-avatar by the front door, who reads his cornea before enquiring on the assorted tank tops he recently bought.
Minority Report, the film containing this futuristic moment, is set in the year 2054. But it’s likely that the high-street – and the deluge of advertising that goes with any commercial experience – will likely be a technology-heavy experience long before then. The adverts we see will likely be created by AI machines, capable of reading our data instantly and catering to our individual tastes and needs.
We know this kind of ‘surveillance capitalism’ is coming, but still hold fast to the notion that the ‘big idea’, the clever, insightful and expansive branding that sits behind this automation, will be impossible to replicate by machines. But is that true? And how is automation already infiltrating advertising and design, in ways we’re not yet aware of?