Editor’s note: Melanie Allen writes for Wealth of Geeks.
Artists, writers, journalists, graphic designers, and creatives of types are quivering in fear at recent advances in AI, possibly with good reason.
“The rise of AI-generated content could lead to a decrease in the value of human-generated creative work,” cautions ChatGTP, the open-source artificial intelligence platform developed by OpenAi.
As the popular chat box openly admits, many creative professionals’ livelihoods may be at risk due to the influx of automated systems that can do the same thing.
On the other hand, the AI could just be reinforcing the fears it was fed from the Internet as it learned to analyze and generate human-type text.
In the words of its creator, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, this version of ChatGPT is “…good enough at some things to create a misleading impression of greatness. It’s a mistake to be relying on it for anything important right now.”
AI is Supposed to Target Repetitive Work
Creative industries have long been considered a safety net against the rise of artificial intelligence. The commonly held belief that robots can do repetitive tasks and build things from a template but can never replace human ingenuity holds strong, even while generative AI tools like Stable Diffusion create impressive works of machine art.
Last year, a study published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics listed labor positions and jobs requiring advanced technical skills as “at-risk” for AI replacement.
Surgeons who rely on finely tuned hand motions and financial advisors who create a plan based on data presented find themselves on the list, along with laborers, truck drivers, and counter workers.
Rise in Generative AI Changes the Game
New AI technology targets traditionally “safe” industries. Journalists, artists, copywriters, graphic designers, and others who felt secure in their positions only a year ago now have to wonder if a machine will take their job.
Artists Losing Jobs
Ellery Kreloff, founder and CEO of tech start-up Artistree, a platform dedicated to helping human artists sell their work and earn commissions, sees concern among artists.
“There is a rising sense of hopelessness among the art community,” Kreloff says. “It’s already hard for new artists to establish a following on social media. Now, any “new” artists face intense scrutiny by the community: is their work AI generated?”
Kreloff adds that some artists are already losing work, especially in commercial industries such as album design or book covers.
“For those who see art as a commodity, it’s never been easier to cut an artist out of the process and acquire commercial rights for cheap,” she adds.
Writers and Journalists Also at Risk
Several companies, including Vox Media, NBC, and The Washington Post, announced layoffs in 2023. Affected positions include editors, journalists, and other newsroom employees.
Whether the layoffs result from a pending recession, the rise in AI-generated content or a combination of both is unknown, but the Guardian recently published a piece outlining how AI could replace copywriters at least.
Individual website owners and content creators are also concerned. Anthony Robinson makes his living from online writing at his website, Skies and Scopes.
“I am concerned about AI and the recent ChatGPT developments,” Robinson says. He doesn’t see it as an imminent threat to writers but does wonder how AI content will impact organic search and social media.
“Currently, I do not believe that AI writing is at the level of good human writing. It is unreliable for facts, it struggles to create a consistent narrative throughout a long-form piece, and it lacks the capacity to add personal anecdotes that readers can relate to,” he says before adding that the potential volume of AI-generated content can drown out articles written by humans. “The risk is that human writing gets lost in an ocean of AI content even though it is better.”
The Potential Benefits of AI Advancements
Many welcome the new technology and look forward to seeing how it changes and enhances the creative process.
John Frigo, web and graphic designer for Best Price Nutrition, likens advances in AI technology to the rise in mass-produced pottery.
“Despite the fact that machines can make dishes and pottery, people still buy handmade artisan pottery,” argues Frigo. “People still appreciate handmade things that have a story behind them.”
Frigo admits that the new technology will cause disruptions but doesn’t see it as a negative. “Technology is always making certain jobs or industries irrelevant or less mainstream, but it’s not the end of the world. New opportunities just arise out of that change,” he adds.
Chang Chen, head of the Go-To-Market Strategy Division at Bardeen.ai, a company dedicated to advancements in automation, believes this technology will revolutionize creative professions.
“The value of generative AI in the workplace is to enhance execution power and remove mind-numbing tasks,” she says. “It’ll empower everyone to be more productive and creative and give people back valuable time to focus on the work that really matters.”
Creatives Need to Adapt
Historically, technological advances generally lead to shifts in the labor market. Even those skeptical of generative AI admit that workers must adapt.
James De Roche, the managing partner at SEO agency Lead Comet, acknowledges the significant challenges writers and content creators may face due to advancements in AI.
He says the bar for content creation will rise, and “Businesses that rely on organic search to generate leads and revenue will need to find ways to stand out against a deluge of generic content.”
However, he adds that creators can stand out by using insight from experts and leaning into creativity rather than rehashing common ideas or tropes. He sees new fact checker and editorial positions to manage AI content and believes creatives and strategists will increase in value.
AI is the Future
AI is likely to grow and adapt, despite the disruption it may have on jobs and industries. Those in creative industries must find ways to work with it rather than against it.
Despite the hysteria, new advances in technology aren’t bad. They allow us to work more efficiently and open career paths we never imagined.
The future is here. We need to embrace it.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.