Publicis Groupe Partners With Singapore Management University on Creative Use of A.I.

“When it comes to AI, things are moving extremely fast – we are in a transition period, and it’s important that our students take new risks.”

Publicis Groupe has teamed up with Singapore Management University (SMU) to help students create engaging, memorable stories using the latest artificial intelligence (AI) tools in readiness for the future creative workplace, which is being radically transformed by AI.

Led by Laurent Thevenet, Head of Creative Technology at Publicis Groupe APAC & MEA, and Mark Chong, Associate Professor of Communication Management at SMU’s Lee Kong Chian School of Business, the programme kicks off today for a class of 45 undergraduates from various disciplines (including business, economics, information systems and social sciences) at SMU.

The programme will challenge students to experiment with AI to create a story from start to finish. Using ChatGPT, they’ll start by crafting a synopsis for a fictional tale that’s fit for the big screen. After harnessing AI tools to execute their idea, the course will culminate in a mini festival showcasing the top 10 films, to be held on 3 April 2023.


“When it comes to AI, things are moving extremely fast – we are in a transition period, and it’s important that our students take new risks and try new processes. So, we are thrilled to partner with Laurent, one of the world’s foremost creative technologists, along with a team of creative hybrids at Publicis Groupe APAC, who will encourage our students to push the edge of possibility and look beyond to what the future holds,” explains Chong.

Thevenet adds: “I have known Mark Chong for a few years now and he has been showing very early interest in the future of storytelling through the use of technology. This collaboration has been years in the making. We are excited to see what students will come up with. We are also proud to equip them with the knowledge that will give them an advantage in the future workplace.”

Students will be challenged to create a story with a futuristic premise: “Set in 2045 (the year of singularity) in Singapore, the protagonist of your story has the goal of preventing AI from taking over the world.” They will be judged on their use of AI and how this impacts their creative process, story and execution.

A panel of creative technologists will review and judge their creations including: Mark Chong; Laurent Thevenet; Calvin Soh, a renowned agency leader who was once voted Asia’s top creative by Campaign Brief and is now founder of One Kind Ideas; Web3 expert Jean-Francois Thery, Head of Growth at Publicis Singapore; and Vaishnav Balasubramaniam, Creative Director at Le Pub APAC and co-founder of the phenomenally popular WindowSwap platform.


The SMU-Publicis workshop is part of a 13-week SMU-X Course titled ‘Storytelling for Organisations and Brands’ that Associate Professor Chong teaches. Introduced to the SMU curriculum in 2015, all SMU-X courses feature project-based experiential learning where students work in small groups and apply their interdisciplinary knowledge on real-world projects with industry and faculty mentors.

In recent years, the University has also started offering SMU-X Overseas (SMU-XO) modules which give students the opportunity to work on projects with overseas organisations. In the current academic year 2022-2023, 64 SMU-X and SMU-XO modules are being offered, with more than 3,000 students partnering with organisations across all sectors.

For more information about SMU and its Communication Management program, visit

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