Are creatives still the best option?
If you’ve been anywhere on the internet in the past few months, then you’ve most likely seen the buzz around Artificial Intelligence (or AI). From TikTok filters to chat assistants to photo filters… It seemed like half the population had little artificially generated profile pictures for a while. It was fun! No harm, no foul as we turned our selfies into Picasso-styled portraits. But AI quickly started to creep into other spaces, like branding and advertising. We saw the first magazine cover to be completely artificially generated. Articles penned by bots. Even entire brand campaigns designed by AI. Despite the development of artificial intelligence starting in the 1950s, it still felt quite new. But in reality, we were simply seeing its widespread application on a scale we weren’t prepared to witness quite so quickly.
But where does that leave us? The moment AI stepped into the creative world, artists everywhere were responding. Even us at Made By Things were involved. We featured the impact of AI on an episode of the The CMD-Z Show with our guest CJ Casciotta. And we launched our very own MXT AI program to assist with branding (don’t worry, we’re still artist-driven ????). It had seemingly wormed its way into our everyday lives and we were suddenly faced with lots of questions about our work and its future. It was something that every generation of artists faces. Whether it be the advent of new painting techniques, cameras, studio systems, digital art, the iPad, or now AI, artists evolve with technology.
In order for AI to “create” art, it scours the internet for work to draw from and makes new images from compiling it all together. So at its core, AI isn’t really making anything original. It still needs artists to feed upon. From a writing perspective, it does the same thing. It looks at common script or narrative formats, tropes and characters, and popular themes in order to write something with commercial viability. But again, it is not original. It is working from pre-existing stories and scripts.
Originality is a unique human trait. Sure, a computer can take what we’ve already done, but that’s not what we’re interested in doing. The act of original creation can only be done by real people each with their own individual voice. The voice of AI is controlled by a power switch that can only be turned on if we choose for it to be.
AI is great for analyzing data at faster rates than human neurons can fire. It’s very helpful for looking at data from past campaigns and seeing what might work well in the future. This makes it a wonderful tool for artists when they are determining styles and need to quickly see examples of various artists without combing through billions of images on the internet. This just gives them more time to do what they do best: create. AI is not a replacement for creatives. It is a tool that allows them to be more creative than they’ve ever been.
At the end of the day, AI regurgitates. Artists innovate.