AI should be embraced as a creative tool, not as a replacement to human creators
Creative professionals are currently facing an ethical choice which will impact the future of their industries, writes FM CEO Daniel McCarthy.
We’re living through a moment of revolutionary and rapid advancement in the field of AI. / Adobe Stock
As the topic of artificial intelligence (AI) dominates more and more of the cultural conversation, we’re increasingly facing an existential dilemma. We’ve arrived at a fork in the road, and a decision must now be made. To be blunt, choosing the wrong path forward could result in the complete implosion of the creative community.
Having worked alongside artists, creatives and marketers for more than a decade now, I find myself able to offer a unique perspective on this critical juncture in human history. I see the AI debate through the eyes of the thousands of artists I have empowered throughout my career. I’ve been honored to watch them bring their work to the world and receive fair payment for doing what they love. I also see this topic through the eyes of marketers, creative directors, editors and producers whose jobs rely on storytelling - a craft that is rapidly being transformed by developments in AI, particularly the rise of ’generative AI’ models like ChatGPT and Midjourney.
There has long been a beautiful, mutually beneficial ecosystem in which these artists and creative professionals collaborate. That ecosystem is in considerable jeopardy now that increasingly sophisticated AI models are threatening to push some artists out of the job market.
It’s not too late for creative professionals to prevent catastrophe if we’re willing to open our eyes right now and recognize that the correct path forward is obvious: We must challenge ourselves – and our fellow (human) creative partners – to create before asking a machine to create on our behalf. We must take authority over the decisions we have in front of us and choose humans over machines. We must embrace AI as a creative tool, rather than a creator.
It begins with you. Don’t view your next production, project, or initiative as a task that needs to be completed as quickly and as cheaply as possible. Instead, try to view it as a new and valuable opportunity to do that which you’ve always loved – something that not everyone gets to do: create something beautiful and compelling from scratch.
Innovate and create in the way that only you can, as a complex human being who operates with passion, spirit, joy, depth and love. The act of creating is, always has been, and always will be what you were made for.
So now that we, as a global society, find ourselves at this fork in the road, please pause for a moment. Think deeply about the creative professional sitting next to you at work, at home and on the bus. Think about all of the creative professionals around the world and how they’re individually and collectively influencing culture and changing the world.
Think about and connect with the creative mind and the tender heart within you. Remember how deeply fortunate you are to partake in the rare gift of creativity. It’s perhaps the most precious of all human qualities, and it’s the reason why we must choose to continue valuing art - and the people who make it.
Daniel McCarthy is chief executive officer at FM.
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