What implications does the increasing prominence of AI have on the future of artistic expression?
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It's important to note this upfront, as if the claims surrounding the recent advancements in AI technology are credible, it's believed that bots can handle a significant amount of content.
As an illustration, consider OpenAI's language model ChatGPT. This AI-powered chatbot system, which was released in November 2022, utilizes Natural Language Processing (NLP) to engage in conversations and respond to queries with answers that are pertinent and resemble human responses. When asked to generate an introductory paragraph for a piece that examines the impact of AI on the future of artistic expression, it generated the following.
"As AI continues to play a dominant role in our world, the outlook for creativity is cloudy. AI holds the capacity to automate numerous creative endeavors, ranging from writing to visual art to music. This could result in a reality where machines hold a monopoly on creativity, with human involvement being limited to a secondary role."
AI appears to indicate that it can assume a prominent role in artistic expression. Despite that, it's still an admirable attempt and gives us a glimpse into the progress of the technology and its potential future. However, disregarding both the excitement and skepticism, what real benefits does AI bring to the creative sector, what are its drawbacks, and what steps can organizations take now to not fall behind?
Some key players and their AI tools
Although OpenAI is currently the company attracting the most attention in the field of generative AI, fueled by Microsoft's investment and the possibility that systems like ChatGPT could eventually replace Google, many other businesses are also developing similar technology to generate "unique" content. And, as ChatGPT hinted, this covers a wide range of creative fields, including fine art, poetry, extensive articles, video, and music.
To produce content, these AI systems are educated on datasets of pre-existing material that encompass text, images, video files, and code collected from the web.
In the realm of AI music generation, companies such as Amper Music and Soundraw allow users to compose melodies quickly. For text-to-image generation, there are Astria, OpenAI's DALL·E 2, Midjourney, and Jasper, which produce images and art that match your description. AI video creators like Alai and Synthesia are creating convincing digital avatars that can speak to the viewer. Latte is reducing the creative effort involved in creating social media content, while OpenAI has several competitors vying for dominance in AI writing, including Copy.ai, Rytr, and Writesonic. The list goes on and includes Wix's AI Text Creator, which the company recently made available to partners who design websites for clients.
Although a lot of these AI programs are still in their early stages or in beta testing, they have already created a stir in the creative industries. Some artists, like Refik Anadol, are fully embracing the technology and pushing the limits of modern art. Others, such as designer Ammaar Reshi, are accomplishing the unbelievable, creating works that would normally take months or years in just a single weekend.
Musicians like Nick Cave have expressed their views, referring to ChatGPT's attempts to write a song in his style as "a distorted imitation of what it means to be human." The future of journalism and publishing was brought into question when tech news outlet CNET was found to be using "automation technology" to write financial news articles under the guise of "CNET Money Staff." They later stated that it was for research purposes only.
These examples highlight the complex and uncertain nature of AI, as we strive to utilize the technology for positive outcomes. It is a journey filled with ethical concerns, such as plagiarism, copyright law, output quality, environmental impact, misinformation, bias, and job loss. However, as with any new technology, there are great potential benefits to be gained, despite the risks involved.
Is it possible for AI to replace human content writers?
The potential impact of AI on written content is a hot topic, especially with the current focus on OpenAI's ChatGPT. Laura Ramsay, Content Lead at Wix Partners, holds a cautious yet optimistic view on the matter. While she acknowledges that AI can streamline the research process and offer inspiration for ad copy, she believes it can't replace the human touch in writing original and smart content. The tone of voice, emotions, and nuances that make brand stories unique are still best conveyed by people.
Currently, many agencies are still in the experimentation phase with AI, with only 12% of marketers reporting they are at an advanced level, according to the 2022 State of Marketing and Sales AI Report. However, 2023 is expected to be the year when AI goes mainstream, with more agencies exploring its capabilities. To gain insights into the current use of AI tools by creative professionals, Wix Partners conducted interviews with six of its partners.
Take a hybrid approach
Matt Konarzewski, the founder of Vision Marketing, is a strong advocate of AI in the advertising industry. He believes that agencies must embrace this technology to stay relevant to their clients' digital needs. He himself has utilized AI tools for his agency's blog, using ChatGPT for text generation, Synthesia for video creation, and Midjourney for social media graphics in a recent post on revolutionizing SEO strategies with Wix.
Konarzewski acknowledges that AI can accelerate the process of development, design, and content creation but expresses his concerns about the potential proliferation of "random content" on the internet and its impact on Google's SEO guidelines.
Despite these concerns, he believes that agencies must take a combined approach and supplement their traditional methods with AI tools to achieve the best results for their clients. According to him, AI requires agencies to redirect their creativity to other areas and work collaboratively with robots to deliver outstanding outcomes to their clients with greater speed and efficiency.
Embrace AI instead of fearing it. Utilize it to your advantage.
Carlos Cortez of S9 Consulting has been utilizing AI writing software like Jasper, Speedwrite, and Copy.ai for the past two years, and recently added ChatGPT to his toolkit. According to Cortez, ChatGPT serves as an excellent starting point for writing blog posts and SEO-driven phrases, providing a starting point for creating real content. He believes that AI will make content marketing services more cost-effective for agencies, reducing product costs and saving time, but acknowledges the reduced barrier to entry for prospects who might opt to use these tools instead of hiring an agency. Despite these challenges, Cortez remains optimistic about the continuing need for agency services, stating that AI is just a tool, and it is important for agencies to adapt and leverage technology without fear, as it can never replace their expertise.
Integrate AI with your favorite tools
Carlos Cortez of S9 Consulting has been using AI writing software such as Jasper, Speedwrite, and Copy.ai, and recently added ChatGPT to his toolkit. He sees AI as a valuable starting point for writing blog posts and content, as it can generate ideas and provide SEO-friendly phrases. Cortez also notes that AI will help agencies become more cost-effective in their content marketing services, but acknowledges that it may also reduce the barrier to entry for prospects who could potentially become clients by using AI tools instead of hiring an agency. However, Cortez remains optimistic about the role of agencies and emphasizes that technology should be embraced and leveraged, not feared, as it will never replace the expertise and creativity of a professional agency.
Establish Strong UX/UI Foundations for Future Development
Murphy, the founder of Act One Media, has not yet incorporated AI tools into any client projects. Although he finds AI tools intriguing, he believes they lack the human touch that makes design unique and enjoyable. Instead, he sees potential in using AI to create solid UX/UI foundations for web projects, which can then be further developed by agency teams. However, he believes the real creativity should still be left to human hands. In his opinion, AI can generate results based on rules but it cannot create something fresh or truly unique, like a talented designer or writer can. For now, he remains more interested in designs and writing that possess a whimsical quality and a personal touch.
Streamline time-consuming processes.
Matthew Tropp, CEO of Blackthorn Publishing, a full-service media agency, utilizes Jasper AI to generate press releases, blog posts, and website copy. He expresses that the output has been remarkable and only needs minimal revisions. Tropp is fascinated by OpenAI's latest offerings and sees them as a means to deliver high-quality client work with quicker turnaround times.
According to Tropp, AI will likely play a significant role in web design, enhancing the user experience and simplifying the website creation process. AI can automate tedious tasks, such as website testing, optimizing images and colors for optimal display, and even suggest changes to boost a website's performance. Furthermore, AI can help generate website layouts and designs that are optimized for user experience, driving higher conversions.
While Tropp acknowledges computer biases and copyright infringement as major worries for professionals in AI, he believes the advantages outweigh the disadvantages and that the technology will transform creative industries. In Tropp's words, "It's all about time management and efficiency when using AI, and it has really helped my business grow."
Stay ahead of the competition
Laylee Bodaghee, CEO of Shadow Knights Studio, believes that within the next three to five years, AI will play a significant role in the capabilities of most agencies, occupying 30 to 40% of their functions. Her studio currently leverages AI tools like Midjourney, ChatGPT, and DALL·E 2 to streamline workflows and enhance output.
According to Bodaghee, not incorporating AI into business operations would put companies at a disadvantage compared to their competition. She sees a future where AI systems auto-generate various aspects of creative work, including project management, design, graphics, music, art, writing, and more, with professional teams making slight adjustments for better results.
However, she cautions that as AI continues to expand into various mediums, industries must not allow the technology to undermine genuine expression and human values. While she recognizes the potential of AI to improve performance and bring new perspectives to the table, she emphasizes the importance of preserving authenticity.
"Authentic experiences will remain valuable in the future, just like how some people still appreciate analog wristwatches, pottery, and handcrafted music," says Bodaghee. "Our team aims to keep the tradition of creative work alive, even as technology evolves."
Embrace AI as a tool to enhance creativity, not limit it
According to OpenAI, the ultimate goal of its technology is to achieve "artificial general intelligence," which would replicate human intelligence, creativity, and thoughtfulness. Despite still being far from reaching this goal, creative professionals have a clear perspective on the role of AI in their work.
Laylee Bodaghee, CEO of Shadow Knights Studio, suggests that AI should be used to enhance creativity, not define it. While AI can perform many tasks and free up time, it can also produce incorrect answers or bizarre outputs. The final product ultimately rests on the creators to package and present in the right way.
Similarly, Ramsay believes that there will always be a demand for human creativity and real human connections. The creative professionals, with their expertise and natural abilities, will still play a leading role in their industries even as AI continues to advance and infiltrate the market.