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Cannes 2011: When technology meets creativity

By Prajjal Saha , afaqs!, Cannes | In Advertising | June 24, 2011
On Thursday afternoon, at the Grand Auditorium Palais De Festival, Cannes, Nick Brien, chief executive officer, McCann Worldgroup, along with his four guests -- Will.i.am, producer, entertainer and technology advocate, Marc Landsberg, chief executive officer, MRM Worldwide, TodMachover, composer, inventor and educator and Johan Jervoe, director, creative services and digital marketing, Intel Corporation, -- addressed the gathering on the role technology plays in creativity, and how the former influences the latter.

Technology has taken over our lives completely and also the way we entertain ourselves. It has also changed the way we create entertainment. On Thursday afternoon, at the Grand Auditorium, Palais De Festival, Cannes, Nick Brien, chief executive officer, McCann Worldgroup, along with his four guests - Will.i.am, producer, entertainer and technology advocate, Marc Landsberg, chief executive officer, MRM Worldwide, TodMachover, composer, inventor and educator, and Johan Jervoe, director, creative services and digital marketing, Intel Corporation, -- addressed the gathering on the role technology plays in creativity and how the former influences the latter.

They were there to discuss the role of technology on creativity

Jervoe of Intel started the conversation with the statement that innovation enables 'creativitism'. According to him, the engineering world and entertainment world should collaborate to innovate.

Will.i.am, who is also a music composer, commented that the technology has already started enabling creativity. He says, in 2000, I would record music in a studio which would be played on radio -- which means, it's created in one world and consumed in another. But, now I create music on a computer and it can be enjoyed on it, which means the producer itself becomes the medium.

Machover, who is also a composer talked about how he has been a result of marriage between technology and creativity. His mother was a piano teacher and his father was a graphic engineer, which made him grow up being a mix of both technology and creativity.

According to him, technology amplifies creativity, and it provides a human touch to the content experience.

Brien then tried to tickle Will.i.am by asking him if technology allowed everyone to create music, what's an artist? Will.i.am's answer to that was quite apt. He said, "anyone who is open-minded and inspired and has the ability to showcase it is an artist."

"Scientists, designer, musicians," are all artists.

Landsberg of MRM Worldwide pitched in to say that not ideas, but the execution of ideas will be through technology. "Left brain and the right brain are converging like never before," he said.

Machover then shared the story of a guy who was suffering from cerebral palsy-- he could speak or move, but was closed to music. We understood how his brain reacted to music. Technology helped that guy create music. "Believe me, it was fanstastic," he said.

Machover further said that technology is making things easier for kids, but we have to teach them how to use it well.

Will.i.am took the conversation ahead saying that earlier, radio was the technology and today, internet is the technology. Similarly, if earlier it was TV, today it's the tablet which not only helps you watch a picture, but also click a picture.

His prediction was that five years from now, there could be real time collaboration of ideas on the net. "And, I am excited about it," he said.

Referring to agencies, Will.i.am, said, "Ad agencies are 'yesterday'. Today's advertising needs to turn consumer into agent, create a community and build a relation."

To view interviews from Cannes 2011, click here.