How will AI impact creative professionals and other content creators over the next few years?
In my previous article, we discussed the impact of AI on software developers and IT professionals. This month, we’ll discuss the impact of AI on creative professionals and content creators.
I created this series of articles as a result of the growing number of questions I’ve been receiving about the impact of AI technologies like ChatGPT and DALL-E 2 on various technical and creative professions.
The general public is beginning to become aware of what AI researchers, data scientists, and ML engineers have known for the past few years. AI is coming – and it’s coming fast!
These new AI-enabled technologies are rapidly becoming very good at a wide variety of technical and creative tasks. This means that a large portion of creative work will likely be automated over the next few years.
So, to help you better understand the impact of AI on your career, here are my thoughts on how AI will impact creative professionals and other content creators.
Large language models like GPT-3.5 and ChatGPT have already changed the way I write articles, presentations, courses, abstracts, and bios. These tools help me to research topics, get ideas for outlines, write quick first drafts, rewrite sentences, and summarize, simplify, translate, and reformat text. AI-enabled tools like Grammarly help me communicate more effectively and reduce the number of errors in my writing.
I’ve also started using image generation tools like DALL-E 2, Stable Diffusion, and Midjourney to create images for my website, presentations, and online courses. I’m also using these tools to edit and enhance my images as well. The trick is learning how to create prompts that will give you the image you need and then successively refining it via in-painting, style transfer, etc.
AI technologies have also changed the way I record and edit my online video courses. I use a tool called PromptSmart to automatically advance text on my teleprompter while I’m recording courses. I also fix simple audio narration mistakes with AI voice-editing tools like Descript. I’m beginning to experiment with new AI-based video-editing tools as well.
Ultimately, I’m learning how to work with AI to create new content rather than fight against it.
AI-powered content-creation and editing tools will have a huge impact on creative professionals like authors, artists, designers, and filmmakers. One AI-augmented content creator will be able to do the work of several human-only creators.
I can easily see a future where AIs are performing most of the manual tasks involved in creating and editing content like articles, images, and videos. The creative professionals will oversee the automated creation process by describing what they want, nudging the AI in the right direction, editing with AI-powered tools, and continuously refining the output.
This will create a rapid feedback loop of ideation, creation, editing, and revision. This process will be a highly iterative and interactive collaboration between human and machine. Feedback will be much more rapid than it was in the past. Ultimately, this will lead to much faster and more productive content-creation workflows.
Starting with a blank page is always the hardest part of any creative endeavor. That obstacle virtually disappears when you can describe to a computer what you need, and it will generate a quick first draft to give you ideas to help get you started.
When I was in grade school, we were still typing papers with typewriters. Creating a first draft was difficult because you couldn’t edit your written thoughts on the fly. Edits required white-out, feedback was slow, and total rewrites were common. The introduction of digital word processors completely changed this workflow for the better.
Similarly, creating music on an analog 4-track recorder was a total pain compared to the process of recording, mixing, and mastering on my first digital audio workstation. Previously, splicing audio tape, punch-ins, and mixdowns took time and were all destructive edits — there was no “undo” button. Today, these audio editing tasks are as simple as cutting and pasting text in a word processor.
The transition from analog video production to digital video production was an even bigger upgrade. Today, I can perform edits, apply effects, create transitions, and preview video — all non-linear and non-destructive. It’s hard to describe just how much of an impact the introduction of the personal computer had on the workflows of an entire generation of creative professionals.
I think the transition to AI-enabled workflows in the coming years will feel similar to the transition from analog to digital. AI will remove the friction of current computer-based content creation and editing.
Those who are early adopters will see significant advantages of using AI-powered tools over traditional computer-based tools. One AI-assisted creative professional will be able to perform the work of multiple human-only professionals – likely with higher quality.
For example, using an AI-powered word processor will significantly cut down the time to create and edit a document and vastly improve the writing quality. Similarly, using an AI-powered image editor to create and edit images will significantly improve productivity, feedback, and quality. The same will likely be true for AI-powered video production.
The future belongs to those who are willing to invest in AI now — don’t get left behind!
If you’d like to learn more about the future of AI and how it will impact you, your career, and our world, please check out my free online course: Preparing Your Career for AI.