Creativity and AI: where do we go from here

AI’s raison d'etre in the creative fields isn’t to replace the art of the human mind; it’s to aid the process and help champion creativity.

The reach of artificial intelligence (AI) in creativity - and how far we’re willing to let it go - is an overarching topic amongst many creatives. They are still unsure about the level of trust they should place in the technology and if it’s there to replace or aid them.

CreAItivity

The idea of associating creativity with a machine has, at times, been a hard pill to swallow. We’re sceptical of the idea that AI can ignite the flames of imagination often reserved for the human mind.

There is also the fear of replacement - that these machines, should they manage to think like people, will make their hay in an industry that was once considered safe from the automated takeover.

Drones are on the verge of delivering packages for internet shopping outlets, and self-driving cars are getting ready to take us from a to b, but a machine matching our ingenuity? How dare those pesky robots.

Not everyone working in the creative fields shares this opinion. Yet it’s also understandable that there is an element with concerns when it comes to future job security.

Been there, done that - Now what?

AI’s venture into the creative industries is by no means a new one. We’ve already seen artificial toes dipped into the waters to write a pop song, create art, and IBM’s Watson even made a movie trailer.

music, film, and TV already use algorithms to conceptualise projects

The boundaries are constantly tested to see what AI can do and how it expresses itself. Music, film, and TV already use algorithms to conceptualise projects, and the advertising field - the primary driver for promoting many of these industries - is next on the list.

In fact, you can forgive people for assuming that AI has already cracked this creative lark, and it’s only a matter of time before we’re all out of a job.

Such an assumption is a little far-fetched though, no matter how rooted in the creative process AI currently finds itself. The most likely outcome is one of artificial intelligence acting as a creative aid for humans, rather than replacing us outright.

Your brand new buddy

While the status quo suggests we should fear AI and its capabilities - there is a Wikipedia page dedicated to such a theory - in reality we should think of it as our artificial helper. Especially from a creative standpoint.

The more intelligent machines get, the more resources are freed up for humans to let their creative juices flow. One of AI’s key successes is the use of knowledge, and that knowledge can accentuate the human mind to new expressive levels.

The creator often needs to take varying levels of information on board, from extensive research to understanding data. AI’s neural networks learn from the past for knowledge and assimilate information at a much faster rate than humans.

It’s possible to imagine a scenario where creative search for a keyword and the AI provides them with access to vast resources and information within seconds - which may have otherwise taken hours. If you can’t get your head around the idea of an artificial creative partner, think of it as its own department with the work setup.

Getting more done with AI

Automation in industries like advertising helps speed up the work process, with the time between initial conception and the final version reduced thanks to the support of AI. The result allows creatives to take their ideas to clients at a much faster rate, which is beneficial for everyone involved.

AI makes the creatives’ life easier

AI automates processes, making the creatives’ life easier. A human can spend their time thinking about the ‘big idea’, instead of worrying about how the distribution of a campaign might differentiate between channels. They can also condense an idea to feature across multiple platforms.

These initiatives aren’t moving the human creative quietly out the back door. Instead, they’re helping them be more efficient with their work and free up time often consumed by administrative tasks. 

The future of AI and creativity

The full automation of jobs in film, music, art, advertising and design industries is still some way off. But with tech moving at the rapid rate it is, forecasting how tomorrow and next week look is far more pressing than the outlook over the next 50 years.

Emotion is still a major factor in the process of creation, and it’s unlikely that we’ll ever see the day when humans are no longer needed to be creative. 

There’s no doubting that AI has reached groundbreaking levels, but fully creativity is one of the classic gridlocks to automating jobs on a full-time basis and needs an element of social intelligence.

 In other words, the human touch.

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