Channel 4 rolls out The Human Test to find the synths living among us

To celebrate the return of Channel 4’s critically acclaimed series Humans, the broadcaster is putting the public to the test with a bespoke app specially created for voice assistant smart home hubs Google Home and Amazon Echo.

Launching today, ‘The Human Test’ brings the show’s storyline to life by determining whether a user is human or ‘synth’ through a series of questions and answers, marking the first time a UK broadcaster has used voice innovations Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa to promote a TV show.

Set in a parallel present, Humans explores what happens when the line between human and machine becomes blurred. The final episode of series two left viewers on a thrilling cliff-hanger when all synths became conscious and almost indistinguishable from humans. Series 3 is set a year later when most humans fear synths and are on a mission to detect those living in disguise amongst them.

Users who take The Human Test and discover they are a synth will be sent a detailed description of their personality type, taken from the Official Synth Manual, which was created by the show’s production company Kudos. For example: Tommy, 'A synthetic human model designed for manual work' or Vera, 'a synthetic human model designed for healthcare work'.

Taking inspiration from the drama’s storyline, the broader marketing campaign will be delivered by The National Synth Detection Unit, a fictional government department, encouraging the public to take the test through a series of ads across TV, social media and radio played using a voice activated assistant.

Inspired by the Turing test and developed in consultation with a psychologist, The Human Test will ask users a series of questions, such as: “If a robot can feel, should it be granted human rights?”, “True or false: all science is a force for good?” and “Think of the most memorable dream you've ever had. Describe how it felt in one word.”

Having taken the test and discovered their true identity users will be directed to a website,, which hosts synth and human profiles, more information about the NSDU, and the series 3 trailer.

Responding to a brief from Channel 4 Marketing, Channel 4’s award-winning in house creative agency 4Creative is behind the unique campaign, working with digital solutions agency Screenmedia and Channel 4’s media agency OMD UK.

James Walker, Head of Channel 4 Marketing said: “After the amazing success of the first two series of Humans, 4Creative has delivered another brilliantly innovative first of its kind experience that will engage viewers in the new world of Humans whilst perfectly setting the tone for the much-anticipated series return.”

Alice Tonge, Head of 4Creative said: “Building on the themes of the third season of Humans where it’s hard to tell who is a human and who is synth, we decided to build The Human Test, an A.I. experience using voice assistant devices. The test is designed to create a sense of paranoia and suspicion of A.I. and synths in the real world in an entertaining way.”

Christos Savvides, Senior Digital Producer, 4Creative added: “The rapid rise in voice assistant devices shows that people are willing to let A.I. into their family homes as part of their daily lives. These devices run on what could be seen as similar technology to the brains of the Synthetic Humans featured in the show, creating the perfect platform for our campaign. We loved the idea of flipping the Turing test on its head so rather than detecting if a machine is sentient, ‘The Human Test’ determines if the user is in fact, a machine.”

Last year it was reported that nearly 25% of all UK homes contain a smart home device. The Humans Test is also available on mobile and in chat bot form at

Humans returns to Channel 4 later this month.


Credits: Client: Channel 4 Marketing Head of Marketing: James Walker Group Marketing Manager: Nic Moran Marketing Manager: Laura Woodcock Agency: 4Creative Executive Creative Director: Alice Tonge Creative Directors: Eoin McLaughlin, Sam Walker Art Director (Off Air): Jim Chambers Creative (Human Test): Josef Byrne Senior Producer: Fiona Wright Business Director: Jane English Project Manager: Olivia Emmerson Senior Digital Producer: Christos Savvides Digital Producer: Lucy Ferguson Digital Production Assistant: Kelly Lacroix Digital Project Manager: Helen Otter

Production partners Design & Animation (On Air): Pete&Tom Voice Experience (Human Test): Screenmedia Website: Joi Polloi Audio: Rich Martin at Envy

About Screenmedia:

Screenmedia is an award-winning innovation, design, and technology practice based in Glasgow, Scotland. Since 2004 they have worked with clients to deliver user-centred innovation across the full breadth of digital platforms, from responsive web and mobile apps to connected devices, voice interaction, and artificial intelligence. As one of the UK’s earliest pioneers in voice technology development, they became the first company in the UK to develop a smart home action for the Google Home, for their long-time client Honeywell. Their other industry leading clients include Channel 4, BBC, Next, RBS, Aggreko, and Vodafone.

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April 26, 2018 1:32pm by Pressparty  

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