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What is the impact of AI on the creative industries and how is it changing Creative Recruitment?

(Not written by Chat GPT)

In the middle of the 20th century, newspapers were king. The TV then appeared. Suddenly, millions of eyeballs shifted from newspapers to this new medium. And companies soon spent most of their marketing budgets on TV ads.

However, once the internet was invented, attention once more changed, this time to Google's potent search engine. Google dominated advertising in the early 2000s, earning half of all spending on internet advertisements.

But smartphones, Web 2.0, started to gain popularity around 2008. And with mobile phones came Facebook's ascent as a social media firm. As Facebook (META) grew, it slowly took ad spending away from Google. It didn’t make Google obsolete, but it still cut its market share in half.

Emerging technologies always usher in new principals in the creative world. And the old guard frequently falls by the wayside.

As you may have heard, artificial intelligence has emerged and started disrupting the creative industries by altering the way we produce music, writing, art, design, and other types of entertainment. AI has frequently made news for its potential to transform the creative industry due to its capacity to produce "fresh" ideas and wholly original solutions for creative difficulties. AI offers us ways to streamline current procedures, automate tiresome jobs, and let us consider novel viewpoints, but does this technological disruption imply job losses, or are these concerns overstated hyperbole?

AI generated image of ChatGPT chip

Large-scale word and image Businesses and individuals who produce content now have new options thanks to AI models, also known as generative AI or foundation models. Although practical applications of AI for the creative industries are still at an early stage, the UK in particular is strong in this area of study.

Here are some examples of where these opportunities are being examined:

1. Large-scale language and image synthesis for automated content articles, blog posts, and social media postings can all be created automatically using AI models. For companies and professionals who regularly produce content, which is likely where much of the impact in our industry is being made, this can be a useful time-saving tool.

2. Better content quality: Since AI models can learn from a large quantity of data, they can detect and most importantly share (nearly instantly) models that humans might not be able to perceive. As a result, AI-generated material may be of greater quality than content produced by humans. Imagine a self-driving car that can update every other AI-driven car instantly after learning a new manoeuvre — unlike a human driving instructor that must work person to person.

3. Variety of content is increased: Text, photos, audio and video can all be produced by AI models. This can assist companies and professionals in producing more varied and captivating content that appeals to a wider audience.

4. Content that is personalised: AI models can create content that is tailored to the preferences of certain users. This can assist companies and professionals in producing content that their target audience is more likely to find interesting and, as a result, read or share.

AI Created Office Space of the future with robots in a warehouse
AI Created Office Space of the future

What Is Generative AI?

These writings, photos, programmes, poems, and works of art can all be produced by Generative Artificial Intelligence (and even winning competitions, controversially). This newly released, publicly available software employs sophisticated machine learning models to predict the following word from past word sequences or the following image from prior image descriptions.

All of this may seem like a major disruption to the creative industry, but to use generative AI properly, humans must still be involved at both the beginning and the conclusion of the process, and this is more difficult than it may seem.

A generative model cannot start producing material without a prompt from a person. Anyone who has used any version of Chat GPT will discover that this is a skill that needs honing. Creative suggestions produce creative outputs. It's possible that "prompt engineer" will become a well-established career, at least until the next generation of even better AI develops. If so, I believe that this will be the first significant AI-related transformation in the creative industry from a recruitment perspective. The field has already produced an 82-page book of DALL-E 2 picture prompts and a marketplace where users can purchase other users' prompts for a modest cost.

The content that a model produces will then need to be carefully reviewed and modified by a person. Image generation may require substantial manipulation and the process repeated many times...a creative and commercial eye will still be required and even then the outcome may not be what is desired.

These universal content machines have many potential applications, but I still believe there is a long way to go. Here’s a few examples of some that are in play:

Open AI Chat GPT page on website
Open AI Chat GPT page

Example Applications

· Jasper, a variant of GPT-3 that focuses on marketing, can create blogs, social media postings, site copy, sales emails, advertising, and other forms of material aimed at consumers.

· AI such as Bard from Google is useful in PR for individualised pitches to writers and for improving search engine optimization (SEO).

· Advertising and Marketing agencies already uses image-generation software like DALL-E 2 to create unique digital imagery.

· Particularly, GPT-3 has demonstrated to be a reliable, if not flawless, generator of computer programme code. GPT-3's Codex programme, which is specifically trained for code generation, can generate code in a range of different languages from a description of a "snippet" or tiny programme function.

· Large Language Models are increasingly being used at the core of conversational AI, customer service applications or chatbots. They might provide higher levels of dialogue understanding and context awareness than the conversational technologies used today. They’re also always available so have a 100% pick up rate.

· Currently, more commonplace applications are emerging, such as moodboards for design consultancy, storyboards for movies, and mock-ups for interior design.

As with all types of generative AI tools, users found the better the prompt, the better the output.

Copyright issues

The introduction of this new technology is also posing a lot of questions about what unique and exclusive content is. The makers of these systems contend that the generated text and images belong to their immediate creators because they differ slightly from any earlier content. But they are clearly derivatives of the previous (human created) text / video / audio / images used to train the models so who owns what? Expect more convergence with the likes of blockchain technologies (NFTs anyone?) and other new methods of deciding what belongs to who on the digital environment of Web 3.0. These technologies will provide substantial work for intellectual property attorneys in the coming years.

Google's own AI - Bard - on mobile phone
Google's own AI - Bard

Why AI is likely to affect the creative industries in the UK

These developments are particularly important for the UK given its strong position in the creative industries. Our sector has historically been one of the fastest growing parts of the UK economy and a leading source of employment with one of the highest shares of the workforce in Europe employed in the sector.

Very few things are known in the ongoing discussion on how artificial intelligence will affect the nature of labour in the future. There was, however, one reasonably firm idea up until recently: creative vocations would be protected from automation as opposed to manual labour.

Many people working in the creative sectors however now may believe that everything has altered suddenly because of generative AI. Writers, designers, photographers, and filmmakers, among others, have had their futures exposed to speculation in the past several months.

Much of the public discourse around generative AI and creative jobs has focused on the potential threats – but researchers are pointing out that this technology also brings opportunities in terms of enhanced productivity, efficiency and profits.

VR in an art museum people say with goggles
VR in an art museum

Conclusion: how will AI affect creative industries in the future?

It should be obvious from the few business applications outlined above that we are only beginning to scratch the surface of what generative AI can accomplish for businesses and the people who work in the creative sector.

These technologies may well be used routinely to create the majority or all of our written and image-based material, including initial versions of our emails, letters, essays, computer programmes, reports, blog posts, presentations, videos, and other types of content. But have you tried using it yet? Has your business / work fully adopted what is already a highly comprehensive tool to making your working life more proficient or creative?

Yes, it is a useful tool, but it isn't quite there yet to bring about the necessary reforms for the creative sector. The human interface and AI's capacity to comprehend what it is that we humans genuinely desire still seem to be the key bottlenecks. "Can you make the logo a little bit bigger" won't do!

New AI driven creative agencies / marketing departments may start to appear as they did within the Google Search evolution but we haven’t come across this trend…so far. So, in that sense, AI hasn’t changed anything recruitment wise in our sector yet (unless you include its inclusion in automation via jobsites and search).

The development of such capabilities may have dramatic and unforeseen implications for content ownership and intellectual property protection too, but this is part and parcel of a newly created sector that could form over the next few years.

As for generating income, ChatGPT doesn't sell advertisements right now. The popular chatbot now makes money from subscriptions. 100 million new users joined ChatGPT in just two months. In a few years, it's possible that over a billion people will utilise ChatGPT and other AI products monthly.

Developing new behaviours takes time, no doubt. But make no mistake—ChatGPT and other AI applications have started challenging the current leaders in the next steps of creative and marketing world.

By incorporating the power of AI, the creative industries can be more vibrant and innovative than ever before. The ability to create higher quality work in a fraction of the time as well as pushing the boundaries of what has been possible could open up countless possibilities for the creative sector and the jobs to emerge – keep your eyes peeled on how the UK creative sector incorporates it for the next stage of innovative evolution.

Acting as a creative recruitment consultant in Yorkshire.


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