The popular image of an ‘artificial intelligence’ is of a thinking machine: rational, calculating, and at times even menacing. In fact, ask any AI image generator, and it will almost certainly serve you something vaguely geometric and highly unsettling.


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Yet the reality of transformer-based AIs has already proven far more emotive. Foundational models like Pi (image shown top) are capable of inventive and empathetic conversation; image and video tools like Runway deliver wondrous, warm visualisations; and voice synthesisers from the likes of ElevenLabs offer astonishingly nuanced tonality and expression.

So, what does ‘emotive AI’ mean for us as creatives? It enables us to surprise, delight, and retain customers through more personalised, empathetic experiences, and it expands our toolkit for creative ideation and output. Conversational AI does not need to be bland and robotic.