Will AI content replace human content?
There is simply no denying that AI has taken remarkable steps in the past year, but is it intelligent enough to actually replace our jobs, are all the skills that we have learnt been a waste of time, or do we need to simply be more human?
Throughout this article, we will pull from the knowledge of industry experts that participated in primary research conducted by Engine Creative to uncover the truth about what they thought about the impact of AI on the creative industry.
Our AI research in the creative industry
We asked 113 industry creatives and professionals what they thought of the impact of AI on the creative industry. Within our research, we explored whether respondents thought AI would replace human content. The insights we uncovered shine a light on the concerns, opportunities, and reality of probably the biggest question that creatives ask when discussing AI: Will AI replace human creativity?
What do creative experts think about AI and human content?
“AI will never have the creativity humans possess. If it does, God help us.”
Creatives varied in opinion, some of them responded in a way that we like to describe as ‘cautiously confident’, taking the quote above as a perfect example. This respondent was absolutely certain that humans will always remain more creative than AI, but was also wary of the unknown potential of AI and the existential threat it could pose to human creativity.
Other respondents were more welcoming to AI, highlighting that AI will be used as a tool to support human content creation rather than just outright replace it.
“I feel like there’s a certain point of human input that you would need to create the ideal image.”
There was a common phrase that occurred throughout creative respondents’ answers when asked about whether AI content would ever be better than humans, and that phrase was ‘soul’. Creatives agreed that although AI could replicate that of human quality, there would always be a lack of soul. This is how one designer described it:
“Machines lack soul. Art is an expression of the human experience and cannot be replicated by a machine. It is a form of creation that operates on a level beyond the capabilities of technology.”
Many respondents also saw a greater potential for AI, with one individual observing that although AI may not be ‘perfect’ today, it will be one day. They also knew that if businesses ignore the cost-effectiveness, speed of delivery, and convenience of AI then they will be left behind.
“As AI quality improves I believe it will overtake the average human and be a more cost effective option for many.”
Overall, creatives recognise the power of AI, they can see its great potential and will be willing to welcome it as a tool when the time is right for them. However, there was an underlying tone of fear amongst some, where they believe AI could be a threat to their job security, ruin the creative market, and devalue true creative work.
Of course, it is impossible to predict the exact path that AI will take, but let’s take a look at where the technology currently is, and how it aligns with already existing opinions of the technology.
Will AI actually replace humans?
At this point, with AI in its current state, there is no way it could replace humans. It is hard to see a world where AI content will not need to be refined by a human, from marketing copy to image generation, everything still needs to be proofed and ‘touched up’ before it is pushed out. AI can certainly do a lot, but it cannot compete with the creativity, skill and experience of industry professionals …yet.
Whilst we cannot predict the future, we can assume that there will always be a need for human creatives. AI is incredibly powerful, but no matter how accurate your prompts are, the nuances of human expression cannot be met. AI is most useful with a human at the wheel to steer it, using it as a tool in the same way that creative software is used today. Whilst roles may change or new ones created, humans will not be replaced in the creative industry, but they will need to adapt.
Are any businesses already replacing humans with AI
Although there is little evidence in the creative industry, there are places where AI is being tested to replace humans in new and innovative ways. Leeds Teaching Hospitals will be the first to attempt to generate evidence for the use of AI in breast cancer screenings, aiming to increase detection rates, reduce unnecessary patient recalls and ease workforce pressure.
Whilst this would somewhat be AI replacing humans if successful the benefits for both the NHS and their patients would be incredible. This use case highlights how roles could change in a positive way with AI, by streamlining operations and improving service whilst also addressing some of the resource issues within the NHS.
However, there are also places where job cuts are being made. Bridgewater hedge fund announced recently that they will be cutting 100 people from their 1,300-strong workforce and replacing them with AI solutions as part of company restructuring. The cost-saving potential here is huge, and within the financial industry, the decision is being made purely as a commercial one. It is difficult to see similar commercial decisions being made in the creative industry any time soon, although, with the rapidly improving AI models, this view could change overnight.
The downsides of AI content generation
Humans are not perfect, and neither is software. AI has made giant leaps in the past year, yet there are still bugs, issues and anomalies that make AI just like us, imperfect.
AI content has to come from somewhere, well, learned from somewhere. There is an argument within the creative industry that revolves around these ethics and whether AI-produced content is ever truly unique. Another question is will AI eventually just be learning from itself? Who knows what issues that could produce?
An issue that seems to be on the mind of many creatives is the idea that AI content is considered plagiarism if it is, essentially, generating content based on existing content. It is unknown how this will be tackled, but it is likely that there will be algorithms in place to see what content is AI-generated or human-produced.
Understanding the brief
No matter how well your prompts are written, they could be interpreted by AI in any way and, although this can be tweaked endlessly, it does highlight the need for consistent human input. There are also some things that AI cannot handle very well, particularly in image generation. Generative image AI currently struggles to handle text and also generates some interesting and slightly disturbing results when working with human body parts:
Despite some of these current shortcomings, the speed at which generative AI is improving is impressive and we can expect to see all freaky human body part errors a thing of the past in the very near future.
Yep, AI can be wrong or spread information that is not accurate (mostly at the hands of humans). For example, a company could use an AI voice generator to use a celebrity’s voice (without consent) to spread false information which could then have a huge impact on that celebrity. The same happens with image and video generation in the form of ‘deep fakes’ (see example below), which is why AI content is a minefield.
How to use AI to produce content, the right way
Hit the wall, not sure where to start, writer’s block? All common issues for creatives, and this is where AI can really help to kick-start the creative journey and spark creativity to set you on the right path. By using AI to brainstorm ideas, the proverbial blank page is a thing of the past.
AI is amazing at completing certain labour-intensive tasks which is especially useful as the demand in the creative industry grows and it becomes difficult to balance creativity with productivity. For example, copywriters could use AI to quickly generate article titles or topics and prepare keyword lists. Or a designer could use it to get an idea of what a concept would look like in different styles. AI is limitless and can help to relieve some of the time pressures on your plate.
AI is not a replacement for human creativity
No matter what type of content you are producing with AI, remember that AI is a tool that should be used to augment human activity, not replace it. AI is incredibly powerful, but it cannot convey emotion, experience or creativity in the same way that humans can. Although some tasks can be replaced by AI, and perhaps in the future, there will be services that are end-to-end created using AI, the time is not now. We encourage you to use AI but use it to enhance your creativity, not to replace it.
Talk to Engine Creative today
Want to learn more about AI or any of our creative processes or services? Contact us today to find out more, one of our expert team will be more than happy to help.