Creativity unimagined: AI and the creative industries
Surprise! You've just waded into a little battleground. Agency Nucco's Alistair Robertson is pitting human against AI to see which, right now, writes a better article about AI and creativity. Who will win?
Will AI unleash creativity? This human thinks so. / Denise Chan via Unsplash
Creativity is always evolving. In recent years that progress has been through slow upgrades from the likes of Adobe. But now things feel different. The pace of change is quicker. The power of AI to alter the nature of the creative industries is as obvious as it is inevitable.
What tools exist now?
The speed of disruption has largely been born from innovation in large language models (LLMs) like GPT-3, applied to all forms of media creation. This includes tools like the widely-discussed DALLE-2 and Midjourney, the burgeoning ChatGPT, and growing excitement around both Meta’s and Google’s text-to-video tests.
What effect are the tools having?
These tools are just some of the more headline grabbing packages that have had the most playtime. How much they are in regular use is hard to tell. But at Nucco we’re also already using AI to enhance our film productions and marketing materials. The effects? It's saving both us and our clients time and money.
Take Topaz for example: an AI program that can upscale film resolution. In a world of multiple media requirements (from social posts to massive on-stage screens) we are already saving many hours by having the tools work for us.
What might the tools be able to do in the future?
Whereas image and copy are already well covered, the next obvious creative disruption will come in the form of video and audio production. If you haven’t already, take a look at Meta’s Make A Video studio and Google’s Imagen. Words don’t do them justice.
And of course, that’s just the beginning. AI is still in its infancy. What is possible three, five or even 10 years from now is hard to imagine. So hard, in fact, that it might be easier to ask ChatGPT.
How will AI affect creative departments?
It is inevitable that AI will change the dynamics of creative teams. But, as ever, this form of innovation doesn’t necessarily mean jobs will go. They may just change. There are signs that the companies that make the most of these tools will have competitive advantages in the future. They can foreseeably also be a means via which smaller companies can challenge larger organizations for dominance. No longer will sheer volume of resources be such a deciding factor in competitive environments.
At Nucco we already use a variety of tools in any pitch process, and have spent time ensuring our team is confident in manipulating the software. To quote the wonderful Zoe Scamen on Twitter, "It won't be long before we see creative director/art director job descriptions start to include their experience with crafting prompts for AI creative tools”.
But it is essential that we all remember that AI is not (yet) capable of truly imaginative conceptual thought. Yes, it can create many aspects of a creative project. But there is still nothing to beat humanity’s imagination to go from nothing to something. And most importantly something that attracts, entertains and even builds love, fame and long standing relationships.
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