This ad, creating ‘the next Rembrandt’ 347 years after the master has passed away, gives us a peak into the possibilities of big data, deep learning and artificial intelligence.

Together with JWT, the Technical University of Delft, Microsoft’s Azure-platform, and the Mauritshuis and Rembrandthuis museum, ING created a piece of customized software that is able to incorporate all of Rembrandt’s works, techniques and styles and then (re)produce a Rembrandt styled painting.

With this impressive feat, displaying tech and craft in optima forma, the bank proves it is an avid cultural sponsor and innovative bank. Relatively innovative, of course, because the real innovation in the financial sector doesn’t happen within the big banks. Ironically though we can thank ING for empowering JWT to innovate the ad industry – and perhaps even the software industry.

One thing that strikes us in this new Rembrandt is that it has two eyes that don’t match (at 3:50). It does make sense though; it shows that this software can create a democratic painting (the average of all the brilliant works produced by Rembrandt), but not a human painting – let alone a creative one. It also shows that true artificial intelligence is still a few bridges too far away.

But, don’t get us wrong, we congratulate all parties involved for this great piece of advertising. Clearly not a democratic piece, but an extremely collaborative and creative one.

There’s also a dedicated website where you can further discover The Next Rembrandt.