Humans have been communicating through stories for over 40,800 years. Our brains are hardwired to respond to storytelling. But does that make us experts in storytelling in the age of Artificial Intelligence?

Many creators are still sceptical of AI technologies. However, AI is gaining traction in content creation processes as creators become more savvy and open-minded about how this technology can help them telling great and unique stories. Artificial Intelligence can actually be a powerful tool for publishers, brands and anyone else who aims to create engaging content in a sustainable, consistent, and scalable way.

AI is now so sophisticated that it can do a significant portion of the groundwork, for example detecting what is trending and happening around us. It completes these tasks at a scale that humans are not capable of, but then it needs storytellers that have the level of detail, cultural sensitivity and personality to bring the content to life. Merged together, this process makes storytellers better at their jobs and proves AI is more of a complement rather than a replacement for modern storytelling.

One of these data-driven creative companies at the forefront is German creative and media agency for social Stoyo. They create highly engaging social videos for brands and publishers. The Berlin-based company is well-respected for its unique data-driven creation approach, which has led to more than ten billion organic video views on Facebook in less than two years.

Founder Patrick Bales guarantees every client not only superior engagement, but also superior media efficiency upfront and before they even go into production. If they don’t manage it, the client gets his/her money back. That’s a risky pitch, but their success proves them right. 19 out of Facebook’s Top 50 commercials in Germany in 2017 were created and produced by Stoyo. But how does it all work?

Patrick says the most important part is having a topic that resonates with the audience, one they can identify with. Therefore, Stoyo connects to the APIs of social networks, but also of media sites such as The Huffington Post, for example, and looks for the most engaging stories/topics every day. These stories are then tagged with keywords. This way, Stoyo can create tailored videos using the most engaging topics for a specific client. Like this one, for example, for DHL:


Netflix is another great example of a data-driven company that has successfully harnessed the power of data and insights. Three years ago, I already wrote here about whether big data will drive the creative strategy one day. Back then I quoted Ted Sarandos, chief content officer of Netflix, saying that it’s probably a seventy-thirty mix. Seventy being the data and thirty is judgment. At Stoyo, the data part constitutes fifty percent of the creative process, too.

Creativity used to be this obscure concept, guided primarily by subjective creative instincts. However, AI is changing this now. It’s unrealistic to believe that in the next decade we’ll be living in a fully machine-operated society, but it’s fair to say that related technologies will become an even bigger part of the way we create stories, communicate, and consume content.



Top photo: © wonry / Getty Images

About Author

Sandra Lehner is a TV Futurist and the MD of Suncatcher Social, based in Lisbon. She is a frequent contributor to MIPBlog, and speaks regularly at MIPCOM. Newsletter: Website: LinkedIn:

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