AI ANXIETY

There's a palpable tension in the air as creative types assess the disruptive wave of AI


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Deepfate

There's a palpable tension in the air as creative types assess the disruptive wave of AI. How worried should they be?

Artist James Gerde used AI to make Hercules dance (James Gerde)

FEELING IT?

Have you seen this funny video of Greek statues dancing? A Seattle artist used AI to make a video of Hercules and Aphrodite dancing, and people are into it.

Read the comments, though. There's a palpable tension in the air as we all prep for effects of AIs super disruptive wave.

To some, these dancing statues are just a fun thing to watch. To others, the videos are actually deeply unsettling.

ZOOM OUT

Before we dive into things, a friendly reminder: generative AI apps are computational systems. That means that they use mathematical calculations and existing data to create new things.

Yup, all that fun new music, rhyming wordplay, and wild images that were all seeing on our feeds were actually made with math.

UM, LETS HEAR IT FOR MATH!

Sidebar: math is actually hiding in plain site behind most of modern societys most significant advances.

Things like linear algebra (used to calculate speed, distance, or time); calculus (used to determine rates of change, like how rapidly buildings cool down, or what their seismic design requirements are); game theory (used to describe, predict, and explain human behavior); probability (used for all sorts of handy everyday things, like forecasting the weather, determining sports or betting strategies, or even selling insurance); and statistics (used to track progress, measure performance, analyze problems, and make informed decisions), are all examples of how math has made everyday life safer, more manageable, and just plain better.

ADD AI TO THE LIST BRUH

But generative AI doesnt feel like math, and thats because generative AI is just really, really good at not only automating mundane tasks, but also demonstrating pretty impressive capabilities in creative domains, areas that have traditionally been seen as the unique purview of human ingenuity.

And thats why the rise of creative AI hasnt been met with universal celebration. In particular, professional creative experts are voicing concerns.

Hollywood writers, for instance, are currently on strike, in part over fears that generative AI systems could be put to work writing screenplays, threatening their livelihoods.

Advancements in technology have always wrought anxieties. This one hits different because it appears to be encroaching on areas previously thought safe from automation.

FEAR NOT

Amidst all this turbulence and resistance, FATE V FUTURE believes that AI has a bright upside for established experts in the creative fields.

Our view is that AI democratizing the means of creative production, will notnegate the value of expertise.

Sure, generative AI tools might enable an amateur to generate a catchy tune or a visually stunning image. BUT. The creative expert's profound understanding of their craft, ie., the experts nuanced appreciation of an outputs subtleties you know, those countless little details that separate good from great, and great from all time not to mention the experts unique taste will always set them apart.

TOOL, NOT FOE

If youve ever been part of a world class creative enterprise (say, a top Hollywood production company, a famous advertising agency, or a red hot record label), then you know that bringing good creative output to market is actually the result of informed decision-making, usually by people able to harness their intuition intuition that is usually, but not always, born of deep experience.

Another way to say all that: creative output that resonates with humans, as Ive written a lot lately, requires human input.

NOT THAT EASY

ChatGPT may have an iOS app you can talk to, and TikTok may well be working on a new music generation tool, but its super important to understand that many, many AI-powered creative tools are actually more "professional-grade" than most people realize.

The truly astonishing images and videos youve seen havent come from typing a simple text prompt, and pressing Enter.

Whats more, whether theyre using AI or not, imagemakers need to have SOME understanding of composition, music makers need SOME concept of melody and harmony, and screenwriters need SOME sense of the most emotion-inducing plot twists.

In short, human experts need to guide these AI tools to get the triple mint results youre seeing.

RECAP: TOOLS, POWERED BY MATH. FEEL BETTER?

Text-to-image engines like Stable Diffusion, Midjourney, and DALL-E give imagemakers a new tool to wield. That means that the worlds best creative practitioners, armed with well honed expertise and years of experience, are extremely well positioned to capitalize on the rise of AI.

The point: While AI theoretically democratizes creativity, the ability to harmonize AI-driven outputs with human intuition, expertise and taste could well be the defining attribute of the next wave of hit-makers, storytellers, and creative trendsetters.

CREATIVE DIRECTING IS NOT FOR EVERYONE

Its worth acknowledging that not all creative professionals may be comfortable or well-suited to make the move from being a creative to being a creative director. The democratization of creative tools and platforms actually is a double-edged sword; while it opens up opportunities, it also means navigating an increasingly crowded and complex landscape.

But dont forget, creativity isn't this monolithic, singularly defined thing; creativity is by definition, novel and diverse. Creative output takes all sorts of weird forms, and can manifest itself in countless ways.

Some human creators may flourish in their new roles as creative directors. Others may carve out niches where their specific expertise and personal touch continue to command serious value.

Our belief remains that, in this new world, our innate ability to bake human emotions like fear, greed, shame and envy into what we make, say, and do, as well as our nuanced understanding of emotion, context, and culture will be more valuable than ever.

SALES

Oh, one more thing: for those who possess both people skills and creative impulses, this fast moving new landscape could offer a whole host of new opportunities.

See, as AI continues to democratize creation, the need for human touchpoints or, people who can package concepts, guide AI-generated creativity and effectively sell these ideas in-personwill become increasingly important.

Look around. There's obvious potential in becoming an intermediary in this emerging AI-creative field. And if your LinkedIn is anything like mine, a lot of people are already refashioning themselves as consultants, presenting themselves as guides for businesses looking to best to integrate generative AI into their creative processes.

Next up, professional, human creative curators, able to sift through an ocean of AI-generated content quickly to unearth the diamonds.

As AI continues to reshape creative industries, look for these roles to gain significance and stature.

$$$

A lot of fast moving vectors here. And something new may drop tomorrow that forces us all to reassess everything again.

Given that, the best advice we have for creatives is to look at yourself. Really, look at your body of work, your experiences, and your personality.

They all add up to a unique selling proposition that you may not have ever articulated. What is it? You dont have to share it, but it cant hurt to know it.

Beyond that, you also have a secret weapon when it comes to connecting with other humans. You are one.

Whether youre trying to or not, you cant help but bring humanity that range of disorderly, oftentimes conflicting emotions we all have into your creative output. Good.

Start amplifying all of that.

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Written by Jon Kallus. Any feedback? Simply reply. Like this? Share it!

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