Meet Pearl – an AI judge who is already dishing out awards

Pearl isn’t your average judge. She’s not human, for a start. She has no body, no face, no desire to drink coffee or eat pasta, or even watch cat videos on YouTube.

She is, in fact, a specially designed AI juror. Created by Belgian AI engineering service provider Faction XYZ and advertising agency DDB, Pearl has one purpose – to impartially, and without bias, select the best advertising campaigns in the world.

Designed to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Belgian MIXX awards by selecting a winner in a new AI Intelligence Award category, Pearl is a fascinating experiment to determine whether or not creativity is measurable.

Powered by Microsoft’s Video Indexer Service – a tool which automatically analyses videos using machine learning to uncover insights – Pearl was fed with all international MIXX case studies from the past ten years, and given three months to analyse the texts, videos, music and results.

The end result is an AI program which has taught itself to think like a human, intelligently picking up what makes a successful advertising campaign, and predicting likely winners in competitions.

From the visuals used, to the music selected, to the subject matter and length, Pearl’s learnings are meticulously stored and instantly recalled, allowing her to become an expert in her specific field, improving as more and more data is fed to her.

At the MIXX awards, Pear selected the Her Street View campaign by JWT Brussels – a campaign designed to draw attention the harassment women face on the streets – as her number one choice. It should be noted that the same campaign also won in another category, which was vetted by a group of human judges.

“Pearl has taught herself to model how humans think and has already reached an accuracy level of about 76% (AUC). Of course, we keep working to increase this. But in other words, if you feed her a new case, she is already pretty good at being able to predict whether it will be a winner or not, and even what colour of award you might expect. This is beyond our expectations, but it seems that creativity is more or less measurable after all.” – Jos Polfliet, Head of Machine Learning at Faction XYZ.

A thirst for knowledge
Pearl will continue to refine her learning and grow exponentially  more intelligent in her field. Here’s a list of learnings Faction XYZ has learnt from Pearl so far:

  • PEARL doesn’t seem to be impressed by the numbers of impressions you ran. She prefers qualitative metrics such as ‘trending topic’ and ‘earned media’. If your campaign has had more than 100.000 shares, don’t hesitate to share it with the jury.
  • Being mentioned by dedicated ad press is no guarantee to win. Being mentioned by BBC & CNN, however, does give more credibility to your case.
  • Upbeat feel good music is so much overused that it’s being perceived as cliché and generic.
  • The use of a voice-over has a positive effect on the outcome.
  • When it comes to new technologies, buzzwords have the most success in the year after they peak.
  • Case movies of winning campaigns featured 25% more suits than non-winning cases.

“People claim juries are inefficient. They say that jury members grow tired and inattentive, are influenced, biased and sometimes inexperienced. It is hard to control these factors. Unless you use a completely neutral, never tiring jury member that is ultra-smart. Like one with Artificial Intelligence for example.” – Peter Ampe, Executive Creative Director of DDB Brussels.

For more information, visit Faction XYZ.