‘I don’t think we’ve seen anything similar in our 40 years’: Adobe ANZ MD blown away by response to AI design tool

Nine months on from the launch of Firefly, Adobe ANZ vice president and managing director Katrina Troughton still cannot fathom the scale of the consumer response.

“I don’t think we’ve seen anything similar in our 40 years of releasing products before,” she told Mumbrella, referencing the more than one billion images generated by the generative AI design tool. “It’s incredible uptake.”

Adobe came to market with its own artificial intelligence powered products in March, announcing the rollout of Adobe Firefly and Adobe Sensei, both generative AI tools that would integrate natively across the Adobe app suite.

Nine months in, and now in its second beta version, Firefly’s popularity has remained on track, having exceeded three billion images created globally.

The app, which is available in a free version as well as paid plan, has reached far beyond the traditional Adobe userbase, with more than 90% of web app users identified as net-new to the Adobe suite.

Troughton explained that the application of the new technology had now expanded across Adobe’s Creative Cloud, with the likes of Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat now enabling generative AI features.

“You can pull up an Acrobat PDF file and say ‘give me a summary’ or ‘compare these two [documents]’,” she said.

Troughton also pointed to beta-testing that is currently ongoing for new AI-driven features in Experience Cloud, that will allow audiences to easily create AB tests, segment audiences and distill analytics.

The new features, she said, are “a major opportunity to improve the way people work and make it far more effective”.

“[Adobe’s] tools are so powerful. Sometimes its [the users] who don’t have all the skills to use them. So you can lower that barrier and enable people to explain what they want and have the technology respond.”

She said that giving people more time to focus on what they are good at is “key”.

“I think it’s giving people more time to do the things that they really want to apply themselves to. “

She continued, “… What does it mean to a creative if all these tools will take away what they do, because it’s so much faster to create it?”

She explained, however, that for most creatives, the opportunity to create a greater number of versions of their work, with a single prompt, was a very exciting prospect.

“When you ask people would they would want more of to create the very best art and the very best campaigns, they would say ‘more time so I can create more options, because the more options I create the better the outcome’.”

Keep an eye on Mumbrella for the full feature later this month.


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