Edit Agency uses AI to reconstruct famous Christmas Carols

19th December 2018

For this year’s festive season, Bath-based marketing communications agency Edit, has taken on a very different approach to their usual Christmas card brief and used artificial intelligence to reconstruct famous Christmas carols to send to their client base.

According to Larry Page, Google co-founder, “Artificial intelligence would be the ultimate version of Google. The ultimate search engine that would understand everything on the web.”

How well does AI understand famous Christmas carols?

Edit agency put this to the test, asking “How well does AI understand famous Christmas carols?” They took 1,550 lines from 60 famous Christmas carols and entered them into the IBM Watson Tone Analyzer to see how well they are understood and the result of its analysis. This then formed five new Christmas carols created purely through AI technology along with illustrations to match.

How AI analysed and reconstructed 60 famous Christmas carols

With each sentence, Watson identified words or phrases that were classified as one or more of the following tones: Joy, Confidence, Fear, Anger, and Sadness. It then provided the name of the tone identified for each line of the carols and rated these 0-1 for the presence of the identified emotion.

Edit took the top- scored lines from each emotion and crafted them into five new joyful tunes with illustrations to match. Although the AI put together some creative combinations, all the carols needed human skill to apply correct tenses, poetic rhythm, context and most importantly, cultural understanding.

Hannah Newcombe, Creative Director at Edit comments, “We wanted to create something that was different from the typical Christmas cards sent in the post. AI is quickly becoming the go-to for creatives to dream up exciting and innovative ideas, taking the technical part of computer science and giving them a human finish.”

Making use of the Tone Analyzer is another example of how Edit is using AI to bring together the bulk processing and analysis capability of the technology in support of the skilled humans who can then take the output and add the necessary human control to it.

Hannah Newcombe, Creative Director at Edit comments, “We wanted to create something that was different from the typical Christmas cards sent in the post. AI is quickly becoming the go-to for creatives to dream up exciting and innovative ideas, taking the technical part of computer science and giving them a human finish.”

Making use of the Tone Analyzer is another example of how Edit is using AI to bring together the bulk processing and analysis capability of the technology in support of the skilled humans who can then take the output and add the necessary human control to it.

“In summary, AI is a wonderfully, mischievous and bizarre toy for creatives to experiment with. It can be a great thought provoker; writers unblock, or simply the fresh eyes needed to put a twist on a campaign. What it creates is harmony and happy accidents between humans and machines.”

The warning to this is that there will always be a bias with AI as it can only show you combinations of the information that humans inputted into it in the first place. For now, the world of AI is rich with opportunity – humans just need to play with the possibilities.