The Impact of Generative AI on Creativity: Balancing Fascination and Fear
Generative AI, like DALL·E 2 or ChatGPT, has sparked concern in the marketing industry regarding the future role of human creators in the creative process. Recently, a video ad for Mint Mobile, starring owner/actor Ryan Reynolds, was released. What made it unique was that the entire commercial was written by ChatGPT, an AI program. Reynolds, in describing the AI-authored ad, referred to it as mildly terrifying, highlighting the software’s astonishing accuracy and its ability to mimic his distinctive tone of voice. With these words, Reynolds captures the industry’s simultaneous fascination and fear when it comes to AI-driven creativity.
Despite the utility of generative AI, the creator community is more apprehensive than excited about the idea of powerful technology rendering their skills and expertise obsolete. Some holding company executives view AI and offshoring as both a talent and profitability strategy.
While it’s true that tomorrow’s creativity will involve a combination of human ingenuity and the speed and accuracy of technology, marketing or agency leaders considering handing over the creative reins to AI should recognize that it is not yet ready to autonomously produce creativity. The concept of intelligent creativity, which Forrester introduced, has led to significant advancements in the adoption, development, and commercialization of marketing services powered by technology products and platforms utilizing machine learning and process automation. However, AI still requires human supervision and intervention.
Currently, generative AI is inaccurate. Forrester characterizes the outputs of DALL·E 2 and ChatGPT as coherent nonsense, producing material that is either deliberately or accidentally inaccurate. As a result, there is a need for increased levels of fact-checking, proofing, and editing, which were not previously necessary. While the software can generate vast amounts of text, images, or audio at high speeds, marketing and agency executives must thoroughly review and vet each AI-produced content for appropriateness, quality, and accuracy. Generative AI can, at best, play a supportive role to its human partners who are required to apply their tastes, expertise, and reasoning to determine which ideas are worth further development.
Software such as DALL·E 2 and ChatGPT currently use machine learning and natural language processing to create text, images, and audio similar to human creators. However, the software heavily relies on text-based commands, continuous training of its algorithms, and access to source materials to produce deliverables. Without human-generated inputs, AI cannot create the desired results. In other words, ChatGPT cannot imitate Ryan Reynolds without the existence of and access to the content and media produced by him. This has significant implications for agencies pursuing AI-powered offerings. The future of creativity will involve agencies creating algorithms that differentiate their approach, such as the Maximum Effort ad algorithm versus algorithms used by W+K, BBDO, Anomaly, and Mullen. The quality and effectiveness of each agency’s solution will depend on the content, data, and engineering contributed by its employees responsible for creating, engineering, and optimizing marketing for clients.
The future of the agency lies in smaller yet smarter organizations that combine services and technology to deliver greater performance and impact for their clients. The human creative team of today will evolve into a human + machine creative team tomorrow, reshaping how marketing is produced. Examples like Maximum Effort + MNTN, Critical Mass + Omni, and Code and Theory + ARound all demonstrate this hybrid concept. Embracing intelligent creativity begins with accepting that AI will not destroy creativity; rather, it will save it.
Stay tuned for updates on the evolving landscape of AI-driven creativity and its impact on the marketing industry.