A hard-to-swallow pill for all professionals is that technologies will always outpace skills. And this is quite unfair: imagine mastering the skill for years, and then suddenly new technology appears and performs your tasks quicker, better, and more accurately. This would destroy you as a professional, your hard work, and many years of experience.
And now, many professions in the marketing and advertisement field, whose work is connected to creativity, are under threat. Today AI can perform certain creative tasks at a very advanced level. These are several examples of what is happening in the industry right now:
Are AI algorithms smart enough to generate creative assets that will be indistinguishable from man-made ones?
DALL-E is an AI software that creates images on request. Many of you have probably tried on DALL-E Mini to create funny pictures. However, recently DALL-E 2 was released. The software is able to perform more sophisticated tasks by generating accurate, realistic high-resolution pictures.
Cosmopolitan unveiled the first AI-generated magazine cover by the DALL-E 2. Artificial intelligence created images based on text queries. In just 20 seconds, the neural network produced pictures to a request for “A strong female president astronaut warrior walking on the planet Mars, digital art synth-wave.” The result looks great!
One of the typical routines for the fashion brand is creating a lookbook for the customers. For that, they need to hire a photographer, rent a space, install the lightning, find models, make-up masters, and stylists who will pick the dress for each model, etc. Now all those involved in that process can go on unpaid vacation due to AI replacement.
Zalando researchers found a solution how to facilitate their content generation process. One of their recent research papers suggests a new AI-driven digital outfit recommendation tool can produce high-resolution images of outlooks based on customer preferences, thus increasing an average basket size by almost 40%.
All these years, marketers and advertisers have been dreaming about this tool, and here it is: ad creative generator - Pencil.
With Pencil, customers can create different kinds of advertisement creatives, from static banners to videos. Algorithms generate new ad banners based on the input of branding and keywords. AI needs less than 1 minute to demonstrate the result! Users would only need to choose the best one from the different options.
Now, there is no need to wait days or weeks for the creative delivery by the agency. Pencil will write, copy, edit video and apply best-practice templates and animation.
And just like that, AI penetrated different creative spheres in the marketing and ad industry. Picture this: Algorithms will help reduce the amount of routine creative tasks that do not require extraordinary skills, thus optimizing the expenses of marketing teams. They will also free up some time for talents to do what they can do best – create! A healthy life-work balance and more time to focus on exciting projects will inspire your team to deliver results with a meaningful impact.
So, what is the future of creative professions?
When you analyze the trend even more sorrowfully, you can find even more reasons why AI won’t replace creative people (at least in the near future):
Often the adoption of new technologies is slow and can last for decades. Even though AI that generates creative assets seems very promising, brands will not rush to obtain these innovative solutions. Instead, many will prefer to continue work as they used to and give preference to talented people, not computers. Brand trust their many-years-experience of working with people, and they are not ready yet to switch completely.
Remember the adaption of remote work? The ability to work at a distance results from technological breakthroughs and the appearance of the high-speed Internet. However, companies didn’t want to change their working habits for years, finding endless excuses, even though remote and hybrid work has a range of benefits. And only an acute need for distancing during Covid-19 forced the companies to give remote work a chance. And this method proved to be working. Nevertheless, some large companies, such as Tesla, still advocate only-office-work.
Even though AI tools can optimize and speed up some tasks, these technologies still have certain biases and limitations. That is why there are still aspects that can be done only by humans.
However, keep in mind that AI learns fast. This is an example of how This Person Does Not Exist AI learned to generate better pictures of faces in just a few years.
No AI tool is fully automated for a moment. There are always people behind the algorithms giving commands, setting up AI, feeding data, and bug-fixing. So, the first link of this chain will always be a human.
Now, imagine the worst-case scenario: People related to creative work are losing their jobs due to AI replacement. Nevertheless, this would not mean the end of their careers. Creativity is different from learning math formulas. Creative thinking should be constantly improved. Therefore, people can still perform more complex creative tasks, run quality control of AI-created art, feed it with data on trends and social limitations, etc. There will also be a growing need for soft skills development. Spending more time on soft skills development and new experience, yesterday’s designer/copywriter may become a creative manager with strong leadership and communication skills to improve customer experience.
Furthermore, there will always be a demand for professionals that have unique creative styles and whose artistic signature would be a plus for the company.
Creativity has been on the verge of extinction since… beginning of the 20th century. During this time, photography obtained its popularity. So did the idea that there is no longer a need for an artist because photographers can take pictures instantly. Did the artists disappear, and all museums got closed? Instead, the art and creative work have changed: The new schools, genres, and directions appeared that opposed realism. Later, the hand-drawn ad posters were replaced with the ones that were created with software and digitally printed. Again, photographers have not disappeared, they have adapted. And summing up previous arguments, it is important to highlight that AI algorithms in the scope of creative work are supposed to be just a tool, not a replacement.