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Editorials, The Grid

AI in the Creative Industry: How it Should be 

As AI continues to grow stronger and more sophisticated, creatives need to leverage this potential rather than resist its presence.

  • Johnson Opeisa
  • 14th June 2024

Although the emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) might seem like a recent technological invention, a historical insight from Tableau reveals that its groundwork began as early as the 1900s, with the release of a science fiction play that featured an artificial human “robot” by Czech playwright Karel Čapek in 1921. 


Over the past century, what started as science fiction morphed into phases of births, maturation and boom before becoming a mainstay phenomenon in our personal and professional lives.


When OpenAI started beta testing for GPT-3 in 2020, a palpable sense of trepidation swept through various industries, much due to the model’s abilities. Although not the first of its kind, GPT-3 is the first AI model that can execute technical and literary tasks almost indistinguishable from those traditionally performed by humans.


This new technology was understandably heralded as one that would usurp countless jobs in no time. The creative industry was no exception. Writers, artists, musicians, and designers worried that AI could potentially replace human ingenuity and craftsmanship— unknowingly to them, it had other ideas up its sleeves.


AI as a Job Threat 


You just had to be there. The initial apprehension about AI was everywhere. AI-generated articles, artwork, lyrics, and whatnot painted a picture where machines might outshine human creativity, leading to massive retrenchment.


This apprehension became more grounded when the “2020 Future of Jobs Report” from the World Economic Forum confirmed that AI is expected to replace 85 million jobs worldwide by 2025, as automation would have grown more efficient by then. 


While this might sound alarming to other professionals, creatives need not be overly bothered. A 2023 article from the World Economic Forum exonerated creatives, asserting that AI’s inability to produce truly original and impulsive works ensures it remains a secondary tool and catalyst for human creativity, rather than taking the lead.


Utilising AI in Creative Processes


If you need initial convincing, consider this insight from Harvard Business School Professor Karim Lakhani: “AI won’t replace humans — but humans using AI will replace those who don’t.”


And if calculators didn’t replace mathematicians, perhaps we’d been overly concerned about AI technology as a competitor, rather than coming to terms with its resourcefulness amid its growing presence. We are now at the forefront of the AI age, evidenced by the relentless and astounding advancements made by tech companies and developers recently. Earlier in May, Open AI and Google launched their latest generative AI models: GPT 4o and Gemini 1.5 Pro, which boast a boatload of cutting-edge features. 


Today, AI can analyse vast amounts of data, recognise patterns, and generate great content when prompted properly. Unparalleled as these revolutionary machine features might seem, they are only as good as the commands they’re given. And who better to give relevant commands than visionary creators?  By handling repetitive tasks and background chores, AI allows creatives to focus on what they do best: creating.


What it lacks in intuition, contextual understanding, and emotional resonance, it certainly makes for in speed and range, presenting it as one of the best–if not the best–creative collaborators. The future of creativity is not a battle between humans and machines but a harmonious collaboration where both can flourish. 


As AI continues to grow stronger and more sophisticated, creatives need to leverage this potential rather than resist its presence. And, just as due credit is given to human sources and collaborators, it is equally imperative to maintain this standard whenever generative AI comes through in a creative process. Proper acknowledgement not only ensures transparency but also upholds creatives’ ethical standards amid the adaptation. 

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