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Cannes 2016
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JWT's 'The Next Rembrandt' Wins Two Grand Prix and an Innovation Lion at Cannes

J. Walter Thompson Europe, 3 months, 1 week ago

Project also picks up three Silver Lions and a Bronze for Creative Data

JWT's 'The Next Rembrandt' Wins Two Grand Prix and an Innovation Lion at Cannes

JWT Amsterdam's The Next Rembrandt, has to-date won a total of fifteen Cannes Lions. Last evening’s awards at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity include two Grand Prix for Cyber and Creative Data, an Innovation Lion, three Silver Lions (one for Cyber and two for Creative Data) and a Bronze Lion for Creative Data.

The Next Rembrandt is one of 2016’s most talked about artificial intelligence meets creativity projects. A group of art historians, material researchers, data scientists and engineers – led by J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam for client ING and technical partner Microsoft – spent 18 months to take on a controversial challenge: how to teach a machine to think, act and paint like Rembrandt.

The result is The Next Rembrandt - a 3D printed painting, made solely from data of Rembrandt’s work. The painting consists of over 148 million pixels and was created using deep learning algorithms and facial recognition techniques, based on 168,263 painting fragments from Rembrandt’s oeuvre. Bringing the Master of Light and Shadow back to life to create one more painting. Only this time, data is the painter, and technology the brush.

Bas Korsten, Executive Creative Director J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam, said: “I think the reason why The Next Rembrandt is winning, is because it represents questions that are on the industry’s mind at the moment: ‘Where do computers end and humanity begin?’ and ‘Do you need to have a soul to touch the soul?’ Questions about artificial intelligence meeting creativity. And in this case perhaps the highest form of creativity: fine art.”

Tjitske Benedictus, Head of Sponsoring at ING, commented: “We feel honoured to win this award. ING is always looking for innovations that empower people in their daily lives. This project is about bringing that innovative spirit to one of our main sponsorships, that of Dutch art and culture. We wanted to make technology relevant and learn more about one of the greatest Dutch painters of all time: Rembrandt.”

Ron Augustus, Director SMB Markets, Microsoft, said: “This project illustrates the art of what is possible with intelligent data. Data is the new electricity, it has huge potential to help people and companies to achieve more. We are very proud to have been a part of The Next Rembrandt as a technology partner and congratulate the team on their recognition at the prestigious Cannes Lions Awards.”

The project has been reported on globally since launch, with over 1,400 press articles and counting, including pieces in The Guardian and The Telegraph, NPR, The New Yorker, TechCrunch, Fast Company and the Wall Street Journal, to name but a few 1.8 billion media impressions have been achieved in the first month after the unveiling of The Next Rembrandt.

Adding to the ongoing global conversation about the meaning for our industry and the future of creativity, the technology developed for The Next Rembrandt will now be developed for the restoration of damaged and partially lost masterpieces. In addition, parts of the code will be made open source to benefit future innovations