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How do you measure creativity and truth? Insights from The Conference 2019

By 16th September 2019 No Comments
measure creativity and truth at the conference 2019

Photo credit: Media Evolution/

Who decides what creativity is – and how do we measure it? And in what ways can we make sure that images, videos and sound files aren’t manipulated? Those were two of the many questions discussed at The Conference in Malmö.

Have you ever wondered what separates man from machine? Is it our emotions or our intuitive ability to tell the difference between right and wrong? These big questions were discussed at the annual gathering The Conference in Malmö.

In this article, we share some of the most important insights on how to measure creativity and truth.

Insight 1: Feedback is the key to measure creativity

Creativity – is it a noun or a verb?

Mark d’Inverno is Professor of Computer Science at Goldsmiths, University of London, and he asked this question during his talk on the relationship between technology, artificial intelligence, and creativity.

‘If I played an improvised jazz piece on the piano – does this mean I’m creative just because the music is original? Or is creativity rather the ability to create something which gives the audience a meaningful experience?’

Technology opens new creative doors

The current advancement of technological tools gives more opportunities for people to create.

Thanks to software, you can produce music that sounds like an entire orchestra is playing. Other software programs chip in with feedback during the creative process itself, so you can get better at making things that other people enjoy.

Mark d’Inverno believes feedback could be the golden key to unlocking our understanding of creativity.

‘When I ask my colleagues how they teach creativity, they say: we learn it through feedback. Indeed, the ability to handle feedback is crucial to, for example, actors who rely on this information to improve their performance and understanding of the role,’ he says.

Mark d’Inverno says we need to develop technology to do most of the heavy lifting, so people can focus their efforts on offering creative experiences.

‘In the future, there will probably be awards for AIs that have created the best music for other AIs. But the big question is whether creativity should be about creative products or more about creative processes, zest and flow,’ he said.

Quiz: What’s creativity for you?


  • Power of the mind
  • Originality
  • Innovation
  • Value


  • Focus and engagement
  • Questions and experiments
  • Zest and power
  • Consciousness and flow

Did you get mostly Bs?
Then you view creativity as a process rather than as a product, according to Mark d’Invernos’ definition. Measure creativity accordingly.

(Hint: Creativity really is the secret sauce when it comes to profitability.)

Insight 2: The info apocalypse is coming – or is it?

So-called deepfakes were another widely disputed topic at The Conference.

Ever since the internet and social media platforms became a regular part of people’s everyday lives, information began to spread faster than the blink of an eye.

As technology evolves, it becomes more difficult for the human eye to determine whether the information is true or made up. Algorithms are constantly refined and improved, much of these advancements come as a result of deep learning, a kind of pattern recognition which is built on deep neural networks.

Blurry mouths or eyes that never blink are no longer warning signs that can expose fake images and videos.

‘Many people warn about the impending info apocalypse and deepfakes are part of the problem. The more advanced the technology gets, the more likely it is that deepfakes become a threat towards human rights’, said Gabi Ivens, an open source investigator, who researches the difficulties of confirming the authenticity of disseminated information.

Sam Gregory from the WITNESS organisation shared similar insights about deepfakes, and also offered tips on how technology could be used to authenticate images, videos, and audio.

How to detect fake images and videos

  • Use deepfake detection programs. Thanks to deep learning, it’s possible to find artefacts, glitches, and errors in speech patterns.
  • Put demands on photo editing software. If you can edit images, video and audio, you should be able to see what was edited in the file at a later stage.
  • Implement an integrity system with block chain technology. Social platforms could for example apply this strategy, where the person responsible for taking the photo or recording the video must also confirm that the information is accurate by, for instance, using a digital signature.
  • Set up processes for handling images, video, and audio. If images contain data such as date, time, geographic location and personal details (e.g. names of the people in the photo) – who handles this data and how do we make sure the process is secure?

Gabi Ivens sums up the problem this way:

‘The risks involved with deepfakes are just as much about psychology as they are about technology. We humans have to learn new behaviours as technology is evolving. If we don’t trust emails from unknown sources, why should we blindly trust images, video and audio?’

How do you measure creativity and truth moving forward?

Whether you see creativity as a process or as a product, you need to decide what it means for your organisation.

The blurred lines between what’s real and what’s not, will most likely grow even bigger in a near future. That’s why you must have these discussions today, so your company can make informed decisions for tomorrow. Putting processes in place to safeguard against these problems is paramount.

Trust is at stake.

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