How advances in AI are changing creativity in the digital world and how best to approach AI tools
AI – or Artificial Intelligence – has been around since the 1950s. That’s as old as the first transistor radio, the hovercraft, and the first non-stick pan (you learn something new every day). But recently it’s been the talk of the town – and the internet – with AI tools such as Chat GPT fuelling a frenzied conversation. Naturally, a lot of questions have arisen about using AI and what it means for the future of the creative landscape.
At the single click of a button, we can now compose a fully original song, write a blog, edit videos with outstanding visual effects, and much more. Industry experts, and even celebs such as Drake, have had their say on AI, especially with the recent boom in areas of robotics, computer vision, machine learning, and natural language processing.
Let’s take a look at how AI is shaking things up in the industry, putting the spotlight on creative writers and designers.
First off, what actually is AI?
According to Chat GPT itself, AI can be summed up as:
A branch of computer science that aims to create intelligent machines that can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence, such as perception, reasoning, learning, problem-solving, and natural language processing. AI systems can be programmed to analyse and interpret large amounts of data, recognise patterns, make predictions, and even learn from experience.
The AI market is expected to show strong growth in the coming decade, with its value of nearly $100 billion expected to grow twenty times by 2030, up to nearly two trillion US dollars.
Some believe that AI may soon be able to develop systems that are a step above the capacity of humans to learn and reason about subjects. But on the other side are those who remain sceptical that a robot will ever be able to reach human cognitive ability as value judgments are unique to the human – not robot – experience.
First to enter the ring with AI: copywriters.
So, what is AI copywriting and what does it mean for writers?
AI copywriting is the process of using natural language processing software combined with machine learning capabilities to generate human-sounding written content.
- Generate ideas and inspiration, SEO keywords, and ad copy variations for A/B testing
- Kickstart your writing process by getting something on the page to beat the dreaded writer’s block
- Brainstorm title or heading options
- Translate content into different languages
Writers are able to create higher quality work in a fraction of the time it used to take, giving more room for creativity and big ideas to flow. The boundaries of what is possible are constantly being expanded, and it’s truly exciting times.
With such incredible advances in AI, what now for writers?
Let’s cut to the chase: AI can be considered a writer’s trusty assistant, but not a replacement for them.
We’ve seen revolutions like this before. Creating and using tools is how humankind evolved, from prehistoric stone knives to the invention of the wheel and, in modern times, microchips and computer software.
Once upon a time, accuracy and speed when using a typewriter were vital skills. This was because this proficiency reduced hours spent erasing errors made on paper or using correction fluid.
Then along came word processors and computers that made grammar and error corrections smooth sailing. This freed up time and headspace for writers to be able to focus on honing their writing rather than the skillset of typing.
Content produced via AI certainly has the potential to be another innovation that makes human creatives more efficient. It comes down to this: we don’t want to simply produce words, but also an emotional response that respects a real reader. As Ann Handly discusses in her book ‘Everybody Writes’, truly effective writing touches our hearts and makes us feel – and the best a robot can do is pantomime.
It is up to creatives to decide how to approach AI. Take the virtual bull by its horns and steer it in a direction that works for you and your craft, allowing you to make your thinking and planning time more productive and valuable.
Here are some quick takeaway tips for using AI in your writing:
- Fact-check everything. AI can be a source of unregulated fake news, so be sure to double check
- Be fully aware of AI’s limitations and use it as a helpful tool to aid your creative process
- Edit AI copy for errors and to suit your brand voice and get rid of anything generic. Oh, and this also helps to avoid plagiarism which AI tools can get you in a spot of legal bother over…
I asked ChatGPT to answer a much-debated question: Is a hotdog considered a sandwich? This is what it wrote:
Although a solid summary of the argument, when running this quickly through a plagiarism checker some serious issues are flagged.
So, make sure you spend a few minutes going through any AI-generated content to switch up the sentences and make sure they are original.
Next up, creative designers. How is the day of a designer changing as a result of AI?
How is AI affecting creative designers?
Similarly to copywriters, AI can really help designers on the daily. AI can allow designers to create great designs more quickly by automatically refining a design based on other previous successful ones. It can also help to personalise e-commerce sites and other platforms on the fly.
For example, Netflix is already using AI to personalise banner artwork and translate banner text into multiple languages, allowing their designers to get on with innovative thinking. AI can also help designers to create higher-performing products based on the best-converting designs and user experience (UX) best practices.
Some popular tools for creative designers include:
Shutterstock has also recently added an ‘AI generator’ tool, allowing creators to type in any word and get AI-generated images in a range of styles.
Here are some AI hotdogs.
However, there is some stuff to bear in mind about AI-generated art and design
The downfalls of AI art and design circle back to what it means to be human. AI art runs the risk of lacking the emotional connection that we seek when looking at artwork created by another human being. A huge part of why we enjoy art is that it allows us to take a glimpse at the soul of its creator. Without human connection and speaking to emotional nuances, some may feel like they are simply looking at a piece of machinery.
Also, AI design generators, although able to produce a huge number of designs, are not fully original as they are based on works that already exist. Another point to note is that designers need to be aware that whilst AI can help them to automate certain tasks, it can also limit creativity by putting constraints and biases on the process.
Similarly to copywriters, the success of AI in combination with design comes down to how designers use it. Can it be a valuable tool that speeds up the design process and leaves more time for innovative and original thought? Yes. A replacement for the human creative design process? Absolutely not.
To wrap things up
By leveraging the power of AI, the creative industries have the opportunity to be more vibrant and innovative than ever before. For us to get the most out of AI, the result needs to remain human-centric, designed to augment, rather than replace, human creativity. The creative landscape is well and truly evolving, as humans have done over billions of years. Will you choose to evolve with it?
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