Back in October, we covered the emergence of AI as it was affecting creative jobs and now, 6 months later, we thought it was a good time to check back in to see what’s changed and what stayed the same.
The Latest on AI in Creative Industries
When you look at the last five years of advancements in computer-generated AI (with inventions like Google Image Search and Dall-E 2 image generation), we’ve come a long way in a much shorter amount of time thanks to fast-paced tech advancements. We’ve seen newer AI generators emerge like DeepDream, Artbreeder, and Craiyon, but there are dozens of new tools being made available weekly, if not daily. AI jobs are hot right now and if you have the skills to hop on this train, the job market is looking up for you. For those of us still working in our traditional copy, art, and design worlds, we haven’t noticed AI take our jobs (yet). Still, AI isn’t going away—and there are some pros and cons to AI developments:
AI doesn't care about copyrights (yet)Perhaps the biggest con is AI’s disregard for copyright infringement, which has also led to massive protests against AI. Many artists have had their artwork stolen through AI’s careless Internet sourcing. As a result, many visual artists will be negatively impacted by AI image generators (especially illustrators). But while AI may not be programmed with morals, we are! It’s up to everyone—from the everyday person to corporate clients—to invest in the art community with their dollars. And, this spring, Adobe is trying to fix this issue with their new Firefly AI generator, which only sources approved imagery. There’s hope!
AI has no ethics or morals
Even though engineers have tried to specify parameters around certain topics, robots will still find a way to discuss questionable material the longer a human interacts with it. While theoretically, AI shouldn’t have any biases (since it’s a computer), it still pulls data and information from human-made content on the internet, which is filled with bias and misinformation. So, again, AI still needs the human capacity for empathy to revisit, notice, and revise any AI-generated content.
AI can generate content faster than youThis is largely what we’re all afraid of—that AI will completely replace us creatives (especially writers) by mimicking our collective speech and utilizing SEO faster than we can. Plus, they do it for free! However, as we already covered, AI isn’t perfect for, say, writing blog posts, nor do these resources possess the innate human element that makes creative content truly engaging. And when it comes to imagery, AI has no capacity for emotion—one area where illustrators can win against AI.
AI can generate endless ideasWhile there is a lot of panic around AI’s cons, there are a significant amount of AI tools that can help creatives get outside their comfort zone and explore wild ideas and alternative concepts. Say you are an illustrator who needs to create an editorial image for a magazine, but you only have one concept thus far. You can use AI image generators to show you other ideas you might not have considered and create your own version of the concept. You’re now able to present your client with more options because AI was able to think outside the box for you.
AI can help you improve your workWe love being human and all the nuance that comes with it, right? But when we’re hired for a job, we still need the job to be done to the best of our ability. Many of us use spell check without a thought, but there are other apps, like Hemingway, that can help content creators aim for improved readability and tailor their writing to a specific age level of readership.
AI can run tests and make recommendationsSpecifically for the marketers out there (but also every creative person that works with a marketer) AI can help your team pressure test copy and imagery to see engagement results faster. In the olden days, we would have to craft multiple subject lines and ask designers to draft multiple versions of emails for tests. These days there are many AI tools that can help you make important marketing decisions faster, enabling you to brief your creative team on a strategy and concept that is strong from the get-go.
In short, there are still too many unknowns about the future of AI. In the latest Times interview with Sam Altman, the OpenAI founder said even he doesn’t know what the future holds. Of course, he is optimistic, but also acknowledges it’s totally possible that AI in the wrong hands could do serious harm. The general consensus seems to be: use it as a tool to help you think outside the box but please refrain from spending too much time with it (otherwise it might get attached.)
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