Rise Of The Machines
Let’s take the humble taxi driver for example. While not a creative industry, it has set a precedent how technology can indeed put many people out of a job. Traditional taxi firms were already on the decline thanks to apps such as Uber or Lyft, but now these services are looking into fully autonomous driverless vehicles. “But surely that’s decades into the future!” I hear you cry. In actuality, it’s not. This year Uber are doing tests with their driverless vehicles, and are looking to expand the pilot scheme into several territories across the world to enhance their technology, which is based on a self-learning artificial intelligence.
So how does this apply to you and your creative job? Surely an artificial intelligence can’t replicate the creativity of the human mind, can it? Strictly speaking, it can’t… for now. To help explain the concept of creative artificial intelligence, we need to understand how creativity works in our own minds. It’s all based on connections. Coming up with a new idea is when you brain fires in just the right pattern to connect to a separate impulse within your mind. It all sounds very nebulous, but it’s the truth. Creativity comes from a base idea in your brain being shot off in different directions until a connection is made, resulting in an “answer” to the idea.
It’s all based on problem-solving skills and the “data” without our brains. An idea comes from somewhere deep within our minds that have knowingly or unknowingly stored a piece of data. It can be something we’ve read, seen, heard, experienced, and so on, but in a distilled form, it is still data. Now, do you understand that it may indeed be possible for an artificial intelligence to be capable of creative ideas?
If enough data is accessible to artificial intelligence, it could potentially be more creative than any human on the planet. The reason for this is because computers can make far more connections than the human brain can. Hardware can always triumph over biology for this reason. It may be possible for artificial intelligence to make connections that humans just could not, coming up with fresh new ideas that would be valuable in the creative industry.
Another reason why a creative artificial intelligence could take your job is that it doesn’t have to go through the long, laborious process of coming up with ideas and iterations upon them that humans do. It reduces the creative process to mathematics, but in doing so, the artificial intelligence makes itself far more efficient than any human ever could. Where an employer would give you a week to draft a creative plan for a marketing campaign, an artificial intelligence would simply process the data within itself and produce a plan of similar or better quality in moments potentially.
The one saving grace is that artificial intelligence may not be able to tell what a good idea actually is. It may be able to produce creative ideas at a rate far faster than humans, and may even be able to produce ideas never thought of before, but there’s no guarantee they will actually be any good in application. There may still need to be a human element to filter through the ideas for ones that are genuinely exciting or at least marketable.
With that said, it could be possible that an artificial intelligence won’t take your job, but that this technology will instead change the nature of your work. An artificial intelligence may provide a baseline idea that human iterate upon and implement, ensuring creatives will still have employment for generations to come. Only time will tell if artificial intelligence will truly be able to supplant human beings as creative forces in the world.