With the continued development and advancements of technology comes the growing presence of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Whether we like it or not, the reality is that Artificial Intelligence is only going to become more powerful and prevalent in our lives from this point forward. Recently, we have been hearing about AI quite a bit with the emergence of sources like ChatGPT and DALL-E, and this is likely just the beginning of what will be a new digital era. It is difficult to decide whether we should see AI as an asset or as a threat, as there is so much to still discover and decipher such as, whether or not elements of the source are ethical. From the perspective of a content creator designing their own website, AI has the ability to be a great tool and asset, but at the same time, can hinder originality.
The thought of being able to generate content through an AI application with just a few words and the click of a button is something so remarkable that it is almost frightening. For a content creator it can be hard to keep up with creating original material, so the idea of an application that can do the work for you is appealing. Knowing that Artificial Intelligence is only going to continue growing, it is an important application that we should get used to and try to understand as best as we can. With that being said, we should keep in mind that AI is a tool that can aid and support our work and creativity, not replace it entirely. When we let AI take away the originality and creativity of our own personal work, that is when the resource can become more of a threat than an asset.
“Although current Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies outperform humans in many areas, tasks requiring common sense, contextual knowledge, creativity, adaptivity, and empathy are still best performed by humans” ( van der Aalst, 2021). There are three key words in this quote that are of value to the role of content creators: contextual knowledge, creativity, and empathy. Without these three characteristics being used to their best ability, the content that creators produce becomes less personable, original, and relatable. When most people are reading content, they are most engaged in material that is presented in a way that is easy to understand and that evokes some sort of emotion within them (Gajos et al, 2022). This is where the use of AI can fall short of being able to provide the emotional aspect of content that provides a more long lasting effect, as well as a meaningful understanding of the message. It is often the way that content is portrayed that best allows for readers to receive and process information, and this comes from understanding your audience. Word choice, tone, the integration of personal opinion, and other related factors are all critical aspects of creative control that allow for creators to make their content powerful and original, as well as cater to a specific demographic/audience. AI does not know your audience, and therefore it can not provide content in the needed tone and language that your audience best responds to. It may be able to generate text for you with the click of a button, but the content within the message itself will not be as effective as an original, self-written piece. At the end of the day, only content creators themselves know how to write content for their audiences.
Artificial intelligence is designed to provide a fast, structured, logical response that is designed to process information in a way that achieves a particular result, which does not leave much room for spontaneous creativity that often comes with human innovation (Leos, 2022). Creativity is an essential characteristic of content creation and being a content creator in general. The beauty of creativity is that it can be inspired out of nowhere, it does not have any structure, and there is nobody telling you creative ideas except for yourself. Artificial Intelligence limits this ability by often providing a single structured response, when in reality there are many possible answers to creative ideas.
If you think about it, AI can only be creative with the ideas you provide. Take DALL-E for example. The application is only able to generate images and be creative based off of the imaginative prompt that you, as a creator, are generating in the search bar. On its own, the application does not have much value until we offer our ideas and creativity. A real life example of this is explained in Garret Sloane’s journal article, How ChatGPT, DALL-E and Midjourney are fueling unusual brand mashups: Creators are obsessed with using AI image generators to design the wildest brand combos. “Creators are coming up with totally unreal mashups, using AI image generators DALL-E and Midjourney to experiment,” states Sloane. With the help of AI, we have seen the creation of what possible absurd brand collaborations such as, designer brand Hermes and 7-Eleven, would look like, with DALL-E generating an image of a scarf in the signature 7-Eleven logo colors. While this image was generated through AI, the idea was created by human innovation and creativity. This once again reiterates the fact that Artificial Intelligence is a tool that can be used to support the creative ideas you already have.
In all, Artificial Intelligence can be seen as a great tool for content creators, but it cannot replace what they have to offer. The difference between Artificial Intelligence being an asset or a threat relies on how much we begin to rely on the source. If content creators work with AI to strengthen their own ideas and creative abilities, then it can be a great source or “friend” to rely on. Moreover, it has the ability to aid creators in expressing their creative abilities. If, however, we let Artificial Intelligence begin to dominate our platforms and ideas, it will become more of a “foe”, as it will greatly limit the ability for content creators to share and produce work that includes their personal opinions, visions, ideas, and expressions. Where the future of AI will go from here is uncertain, but we know that it is only going to progress and become more involved in our day-to-day activities. What we as creators and creative individuals need to remember is that Artificial Intelligence is only as threatening as we make it to be, and that in the end, human creativity will forever be a powerful tool.
Gajos, K., Mamykina, L. (February 11, 2022). Do People Engage Cognitively with AI? Impact of AI Assistance on Incidental Learning. Cornell University. Ithaca, New York, NY, USA. https://arxiv.org/pdf/2202.05402.pdf
Leos, D. (December 12, 2022). Is AI A Risk To Creativity? The Answer Is Not So Simple. Entrepreneur. https://www.entrepreneur.com/science-technology/is-ai-a-risk-to-creativity-the-answer-is-not-so-simple/439525
Sloane, G. (2023). How ChatGPT, DALL-E and Midjourney are fueling unusual brand mashups: Creators are obsessed with using AI image generators to design the wildest brand combos. 3rd Edition. Crain Communications Inc. Chicago. EBSCOhost. https://web-p-ebscohost-com.proxy.lib.sfu.ca/ehost/detail/detail?vid=0&sid=ba230c2f-654e-4642-92a9-5adf2bebeede%40redis&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=162205057&db=aph
van der Aalst, W.M.P. (2021). Hybrid Intelligence: to automate or not to automate, that is the question. Volume 9, Issue 2. International Journal of Information Systems and Project Management. Lisbon. https://www.proquest.com/docview/2563847421?parentSessionId=O%2BBh%2Fa%2Fg8Kn%2FL7liaOYtrqMrVRsOsIAuFnXH6w9fNYQ%3D&pq-origsite=primo&accountid=13800