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AI: Artificial intelligence bottled as Guerlain looks to the future

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AI: Artificial intelligence bottled as Guerlain looks to the future by Tree Elven on 14/06/2023
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The iconic French perfume and cosmetics company Guerlain was established almost two centuries ago, in 1828. In this eye-catching campaign, ‘Born in 1853. Made for the future', it weaves artificial intelligence (AI) into its ongoing history as it illustrates the evolution of the Maison's famous Flacon aux Abeilles (Bee Bottle). The bottle was created in 1853, when "founder Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain dedicated l’Eau de Cologne Impériale to Empress Eugénie to celebrate her marriage to Napoleon III. He then entrusted the glassmakers Poche du Courval to create a bottle adorned with his majesty’s coat of arms, bees and a festoon pattern inspired by the Place Vendôme column", explains the Guerlain website. The perenially artistic Bee Bottle has proved an enduring emblem for the Maison. Fast-forwarding to the present day, Guerlain enters the debate over generative AI - the use of algorithms to create 'new' content from huge amounts of digital data using prompts. This historic survey also looks to the future: as its creators explain, "An in-depth study of art history and extensive research of the Guerlain archives enabled us to trace the ‘Flacon aux Abeilles’ to key moments in its history. Each of these moments, past and future, was then synthesized in the form of a prompt (a written request sent to the AI, containing all the key words needed to generate a faithful image)". One of the major concerns around AI is the environmental one - vast amounts of digital energy are needed for these processes. In this case, Guerlain explains its approach as uniting the skills of man and machine to the benefit of artists - another concern is that creators like artists and writers will be replaced by AI in many areas. As the Maison says: “Guerlain’s history is deeply rooted into art history and broadly speaking the definition of beauty through time. Loyal to its ambition to treasure every artistic gesture, Guerlain couldn’t remain alien to the world of AI generative art and wanted to experiment with it, hand in hand with our creative excellence. The Bee Bottle’s 170th anniversary was a perfect opportunity to sublimate our rich heritage and project the Bee Bottle’s into the 170 years to come”. This campaign was created under three rules following "the three laws once decreed by Isaac Asimov, the famous science fiction writer and forerunner of artificial intelligence: 1) Every image generated should be the result of a collaboration between humans and artificial intelligence: AI is never the sole creative force; 2) Humans and AI should work together to elevate the artistic process to a level of creative excellence that they could not achieve on their own; 3) Imperfections and anomalies - characteristics of generative art - must not be erased. These are the hallmarks of original creative exploration". What do you think of the result?

Keywords: Guerlain Born in 1853. Made for the future, Guerlain commercials, Bee Bottle and artificial intelligence, Flacon aux Abeilles et AI, generative AI in advertising, luxury and artificial intelligence, Bonjour Lab, mnstr agency

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