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Creative Professionals are Imperative with AI

By Dale Mumma, Chief Creative Officer

With so much talk about artificial intelligence—specifically generative AI—I want to put a spotlight on the ways creative professionals will remain valuable and irreplaceable.

This excitement about a new technology is similar to when crowdsourcing became mainstream. When my friends and colleagues started worrying their clients would seek out 99 cent logos, I was scratching my head.

In my mind these crowdsourced graphic designs, illustrations, video and other media were “drive-thru” creative. I don’t mean to disrespect the countless talented folks on crowdsourcing sites. My comment is about the process.

Because the priority for the buyers going to crowdsourcing sites is getting something cheap and fast, the creative resource doesn’t have time to research target audiences, the brand, competitors, etc. The output may be aesthetically pleasing but the alignment with the brand vision, mission and values are usually missing.

For me, it’s the same with the way many organizations are using AI right now. I don’t blame them because we all want quick, easy and affordable solutions. Plus, there’s an undeniable alure of staying at the forefront of the latest tools and technology.

In fact, PwC’s Global Artificial Intelligence Study says AI could contribute up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2023.1

AI for Marketing Efficiencies

I’m fully on board with using AI for automating repetitive tasks, simplifying tedious processes, analyzing data, catching errors, etc. The time saving and impact on business productivity is enormous.

For example, using AI for chatbots allow round-the-clock customer service. Chatbots are developed with a specific set of rules. Using AI, chatbots can adjust responses based on user behaviors. This allows chatbots to offer more relevant answers to questions, resolve issues more quickly and move the buyer closer to a decision.

Product recommendations from Amazon, Netflix and Spotify have boosted sales for those businesses and others using AI and machine learning algorithms. The experience often feels personalized when presented with suggestions, including “Recommended for you,” “Frequently bought together,” and “You may also like.”

Predictive analytics uses AI and machine learning to forecast a buyer’s most likely choices and decisions. The algorithms calculate “if someone does this, then they’re likely to take this action and then this will happen next,” and so on. With AI, predictive analytics sorts large data sets to help move customers through the buyer’s journey.

Caution Using AI for Creative

But for all of AI’s promise to make life easier for businesses and marketers, the advanced tech can’t replace humans and our creative talent.

Keep in mind that AI lacks:

  • Critical thinking

  • Creativity

  • Ethical judgement

Human intervention will always be needed to proof and correct errors. For example, OpenAI’s ChatGPT is processing data until 2021 only. The programming can’t access the internet for new data.

Generative AI technology requires “prompts” to bring about a desired output. Prompts guide a system to provide an appropriate response. A recent Harvard Business Review (HBR) article, “How Generative AI is Changing Creative Work,” predicts Prompt Engineer will become an established profession, at least until the next generation of even smarter AI emerges.2

HBR quotes the owner of a public relations and social media agency, Kris Ruby, who says when she uses the tools, “The AI is 10%, I am 90%,” because there is so much prompting, editing, and iteration involved.3

Another reason for caution with AI is the big question about intellectual property and copyrighted material. When using AI, “the created text and images are not exactly the previous content. However, they’re clearly derivative of the previous text and images.”4

Getty Images made news for suing the creators of AI art tool Stable Diffusion for scraping millions of images from its site.5 Enterprising AI firms are already developing solutions. Spawning.AI has built, “Have I Been Trained,” a simple tool for identifying artwork that’s been consumed by an AI engine and communicates with other engines to prevent being ingested in the future.6

While AI technology will continue to advance, humans must remain involved at the beginning and the end of the creative process.

Need help getting ready for what’s next? We’re here to support you with branding and marketing strategies, creative design, internal and external communications, research, and PR strategies. Reach out for a complimentary communications audit.

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