Creativity in the AI era
AI, to me is the magic that transpires when large amounts of data are refined and compartmentalised by high speed, computing power, with an end of delivering highly personalised human experiences.
The advent of this super power, for all its indisputable potential, has induced fear in some; excitement in others but most definitely inspired a collective sentiment of curiosity.
Some of the key topics that have snuck into daily discourse have questioned the capability of man and machine to work together in higher synergy, more interesting has been our paranoia towards an antagonism that could emerge between “them” and us.
This has undoubtedly inspired questions around where the modern day Creative stands with all their abstract thinking and imaginative approach
Could AI create a utopian work environment where time is fully taken away from mundane and repetitive tasks? Could this leave us to spend 100% of our time on tasks that require our passion, creativity and qualities that fundamentally make us human?
If so, what would this mean for you as an employer and employee? And how can you stay relevant?
The bot proof creative – Talent reshaped
The good news is an increased use of AI will not lead to the replacement of the creative industry. Instead, it will give rise to a new type of creative — redefining what a creative is, what skills they have, and the latitude of what they can produce.
In recent years, we’ve seen many digitally led organisations recruit developers, experience designers (including digital and motion graphics designers) to form fully functional design teams. Traditionally there was a tireless focus on specialisation that led to highly segmented creative/design teams meaning more bureaucracy and less focus on outward objectives.
However, the advent of AI has meant art directors, copywriters can now work closely with designers and developers to use AI tools and bring their ideas to life through critical assessment. The result has lead to seamlessness that connects consumer behaviour and business objectives to create prototypes, which were not possible in the pre-bot era.
To stay competitive, today’s creative needs to be well versed in a range of topics while still having a fluid approach to new ideas.
As AI creates a culture of automation, the lines between industries and skill sets will blur, leading to the need for even more innovation of the “self” to arise. This has, and will continue to allow organisations to develop novel uses for AI, and foster a new kind of cross-disciplinary teamwork leading to new areas of specialisation.
How can you bot proof yourself?
Learning & Development – what should it actually mean to you in today’s world?
The recurring theme from career conversations with creative professionals isn’t that they feel inadequate or irrelevant in a technological era; rather their inability to adapt to the changing world. So think about your current skill sets and focus on where and how you can improve and become multi-disciplinary.
Critical thinking/problem-solving skills – true “deep learning” in the era of bots
To stand out in a rapidly evolving creative landscape, build the ability to attack problems in unorthodox ways. Empathising and approaching challenges from different angles, finding feasible solutions are human skills to develop.
A multi-disciplinary mind, insatiable passion paired with the knowledge of technical tools to model ideas and create prototypes will set you apart from the rest. Integrity, resilience and finally your ability to operate outside of your comfort zone, achieving win-win outcomes will truly set you apart.
I do believe, these qualities can be nurtured or even rediscovered, as kids we have displayed them in abundance. As adults, these qualities have always paved the path for all creative, high-achieving leaders not just within the creative industry but across all disciplines.
So start with a bit of simple self-assessment of your personal and professional skills and goals
Here’s a list of basic but important questions to begin with when assessing your future career in a workforce rapidly marching towards automation. As a future fit professional, your ability to critically self-assess your talents, skills, deconstructing and reconstructing them, in the context of your organisation, team and the wider market, will keep you ahead of the competition.
- What am I passionate about vs what am I good at?
- Where am I in my career vs where do I want to be in my career?
- What are my current skills and what skills do I need to achieve these career goals?
- What are areas in the organisation I can acquire additional skills from?
- What are the current trends in my area of specialisation?
- What are the potential gaps in my portfolio or showreel?
- What are similar teams in other industries doing and what is my current team doing?
- How can I bridge the gap in my skill set?
- How would these skills complement my current skill set?
- How do I market these skills to achieve my future career goals?
- How do I proactively connect and network with professionals in my industry?
- How much time do I have for personal and professional development?
The bottom line
It is true; Artificial Intelligence is immersing itself across industries globally. If the last decade were about building AI to help automate analytical and process-driven tasks, the next will see the fruition of AI to augment creative workers across all disciplines.
However, this will undoubtedly lead to the creation of more innovative and creatively focused opportunities that tap into human talents that are unique to us. The future-fit employee hence will not only rely on their ability to develop through their knowledge of technology and tools but more so on their ability to learn, unlearn, relearn and most of all recreate themselves.
The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn — Alvin Toffler, Futurist and Philosopher
As The New York Times columnist Tom Friedman wrote, ‘everyone has to bring something extra; being average is no longer enough. Everyone is looking for employees who can do critical thinking and problem-solving … just to get an interview. What they are really looking for are people who can invent, re-invent and re-engineer their jobs while doing them.’
So how will you invent, re-invent and re-engineer yourself today?
To assist with this process there is a range of online resources to start you off on your journey: