Vogue Shares: A Talk on AI and Innovation at TEDxADMU 

Vogue Philippines’ Art Director Jann Pascua took the stage to share his thoughts on a controversial topic among creatives.

Members of the Vogue Philippines editorial team were recently invited to a forward-thinking discussion surrounding tech innovations in the creative field. As one of Vogue Philippines’ pioneers, Jann Pascua explored a recurring question in the industry: Is artificial intelligence (AI) an anti-innovator?

Pascua posited, “With AI, will everything be automated? Will it replace certain jobs? Will it promote more misinformation? And so on. The answers are all yes. As scary as they may seem, that also just means that we humans must take a huge leap forward and use our moral compass to adapt, pivot, and evolve into grander things that artificial intelligence will not be able to do. And at the end of the day, it is solely up to us to realize our power and opportunity for this advancement do more good than harm for humankind.”


Part experiment and part truth-seeking, Vogue Philippines dabbled in AI to illustrate how it can be used as a tool for enhancing, not replacing human creativity. Its December-January issue in 2022 showcased a futuristic view of fashion by reimagining runway collections of ternos and balintawak in a dream-like “Paraiso” within the metaverse. The project began with original content such as editorial photographs from Shaira Luna, 1,000 collected Filipina faces, and landscape artist Bianca Carague who imagined what an otherworldly Filipino paradise could look like. All of these original elements were molded into a depiction of the Future of Filipino Fashion — a prime example of how humans can teach AI. 


Pascua acknowledges that using only AI for the project would have been simpler, but he emphasizes that AI can only learn from what humans provide. When generating the diversity of Filipino culture through AI, it often defaults to elements too ingrained in a Westernized perspective. Despite AI’s rapid growth, its resource bank is still in its infancy. Developing something inherently Filipino is challenging, as cultural nuances can easily get lost in translation.


“If we were to assess whether or not AI is an anti-innovator, my answer would be no and it shouldn’t be. Just imagine in the context of diversity alone, if we Filipinos collectively stop creating, stop innovating, stop sharing our culture, traditions, and knowledge with the rest of the world, then in about 50 to a hundred years time, the bank of information about the Philippines will simply be a speck of dust among a massive array of information about the world,” Pascua stated.  

The industry should leverage AI to continue preserving and promoting culture. Vogue Philippines ethically stands with this innovation, championing Filipino stories beyond fashion, whether through narratives on culture and heritage, showcasing diversity and inclusivity, or discovering emerging talents in various fields. “As we stay creative, passionately curious, and remain critical thinkers and responsible storytellers, there is no limit to the inspiring stories and innovations we can share beyond our pages,” said Pascua.