Key idea: “I like to think that the full replacement of creative workers and production workers is still far away, but I know differently.”
Original author and publication date: Shelly Palmer – November 20, 2022
Futurizonte Editor’s Note: Very interesting thought: we are being replaced not by AI, but by the people creating, using, and owning AI.
From the article:
Machine intelligence, also known as artificial intelligence (AI) is going to have both an awesome and an unfortunate impact on our posterity. Let’s explore one possible way AI may impact the future of work, and how it may dramatically change how we train our workforce. This essay was originally published on November 16, 2019. If you want to understand the exponential pace of technological change, I’ve only had to change the timing of the logical conclusion – and, as you will see, this timing change strongly reinforces my assertions. Oh, and the cover art for this post was done by Stable Diffusion.
The Graphic Arts Department (A Metaphor for Every Department)
A brand manager needs an advertisement. So, the brand manager sends a brief to the senior art director (in-house or at an agency) and asks for something amazing to be created. On or before the deadline, the brand manager and the art director meet to review the work. The brand manager is presented with three approaches, and after a number of meetings, a number of revisions, and revelations, they agree on a final product.
This is a process that has repeated itself for more than a century, and AI is not going to stop it (today).
After getting approvals from senior management, the art director must execute the work and deliver all of the versions and variations required. These might include a full complement of IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) standard ad units for the web, graphics suitable for a video graphics package, newspaper ads (in several sizes), a 30-sheet billboard, a digital billboard in several dozen aspect ratios, full-page and double truck print ads (bleed and no-bleed), and a stylebook so that the package designers and the promotion agency can access the new look and get a feel for product design and in-store signage. A list of deliverables can have hundreds of variations, each requiring subtle compositional changes, revised typography, and resizing of images.
Today, the senior art director hands this project to a group of junior art directors and graphic artists. This work is not tough, it’s just tedious, and there is a lot of it. Anywhere from a few hours to a few days to a few weeks later (depending on the length of the deliverables list), the junior art directors submit their finished work to the senior art director for final approval.
The senior art director makes some subtle changes to the deliverables that are not quite right, and the junior art directors are taught why the changes had to be made. Of course, some of the work is perfect, and it takes only a second for the senior director to approve those. All in, a major campaign might take a 10-person art department a week or so to deliver. That’s today.
Why This Will Happen
Almost every CEO will insist on using AI to push productivity to its limits. The competitive advantage is too great (if you’re first), and if you’re unfortunate enough to be a follower (fast or otherwise), an AI-augmented workforce will become table stakes. Nothing is going to stop this.