Artificial intelligence - we're not telling you anything new here - is on everyone's lips and in everyone's browser windows right now. In the kids' room it writes homework, in the kitchen it delivers recipes, and in the office it answers tiresome e-mails. But what about communications agencies? Is AI replacing the creatives or is it just the calculator for text, art and strategy? David Bumiller, Senior Text & Conception, and Dieter Götz, Head of Digital Concept, thought about this - or let AI think about it, we don't really know.
Yes, ChatGPT writes amazingly good texts. Jasper even more so. And the pictures from the pens of DALL-E, Midjourney or Stable Diffusion are sometimes frighteningly good - as long as they show people with the correct number of fingers. But what does that mean for us creatives? Will AutoGPT soon be churning out campaigns that win hearts, wallets and prizes on an assembly line? I'm sure: No. There are several reasons for that - 5 to be precise, which I'd like to touch on briefly.
They already exist on LinkedIn, and in the Twitter AI bubble anyway: the prompt engineers. In other words, people who, at least in their opinion, are extremely good at "prompting", i.e. feeding AI in the best possible way. I assume that these people are creative. Otherwise we would all be prompt engineers. So even with AI, the old adage applies that machines are only as good as their operators. To make matters worse, just a few months after the HypetrAIn left the digital station, there are already thousands of tools available. Who is supposed to know which tool is the right one now? Sure, the prompt engineers. But what do we mere mortals do? Probably ask ChatGPT. And while we're at it, we have another question.
Jasper and Co. have gobbled up endless amounts of IP (Intellectual Property) to be where they are today. Just like that, without asking much. But what does a glue stick manufacturer do now when AI suggests "Just glue it!" as a new claim? (In case Uhu, Pattex or Tesa are reading along: This is my idea). No one takes responsibility for the generated content in the gray area of copyright law. This also applies to AI art generated on the basis of real artworks. This may be harmless for private gimmicks, but it can have consequences for brand work on real customers - keyword: buy-out.
Whether it's a product launch or a pitch, creatives work with confidential information almost every day. I should probably share it less with the AI. It's clear that many one-man shows on Twitter nevertheless swear by ChatGPT. The tool writes blogs on generic topics in no time at all. But I'll have to come up with a campaign for the new asparagus-flavored cola myself if I want to stick to the NDA (Spark us spring: Cola Asparagus! Or something like that). Another issue: what if a competitor also goes for asparagus cola and uses the same AI. Will the same campaign then come out twice? For creatives, this means: harmless prompts for idea sparring in writing and images are possible, but only up to a certain level of detail. Then it becomes, at least currently, on the one hand quickly thin and interchangeable in terms of content. On the other hand, it becomes legally gray to red again. Red is a good keyword at this point.
ChatGPT is said to devour a whopping 700,000 USD in electricity costs per day. At some point, companies will have to pass these costs on to users if they want to make money with their technology. And I strongly assume that this is one of the goals. Then every AI will cost - or at least every premium version. I'll probably need those to get really creative results. Then, quite apart from the sustainability aspect of power consumption, costs have to be weighed: What's cheaper? High-level AI that writes good texts, or high-level text workers who write good texts and bring buttered pretzels for my birthday? Which brings us to the central question.
This much is clear: the creative people don't. After all, they like to do their work. Having an SEO text dictated by ChatGPT and pulling image inspo from Midjourney doesn't stand in the way of that. And if at some point the non-creatives do manage to replace all of us: Who then prompts creatively? Perhaps an AI. And if it can't, we'll just hire a few more creatives. But not too many!
To finish, here's a quote:
"AI is able to simulate certain aspects of creativity, such as creating music or images. But when it comes to writing text that really speaks to the reader, there's still no substitute for human creativity and empathy." Not just anyone said that, but the one and only ChatGPT. And he'll know, won't he?
What I do know is that dismissing AI as a gimmick is the wrong way to go. Even proud creatives can use the tools profitably for themselves and clients. But with all my love, I can't imagine AI replacing us all at some point.
As with previous innovations, institutions and organizations, but also our values and norms, cannot keep pace with technological progress. This creates imbalances and maladjustments within a society, which can lead to changes in the social structure - even to open conflict. This cultural lag was described by William Ogburn in his 1922 work "On Culture and Social Change." The speed of innovation continues to increase rapidly, so that we can no longer distinguish where we actually are.
Nevertheless, we are reacting to it. One example of this is the GDPR. The current version is certainly expandable. However, the resolutions of the Digital Services Act are now being implemented step by step. At the end of April, 19 platforms and search engines were named that will be subject to stricter supervisory obligations in the future. Even if these processes seem very slow and sluggish to us, the normative changes will occur.
Earlier technological advances such as the introduction of computers, automation, and robotics were primarily aimed at making human work easier by taking over simple and repetitive tasks. These advances were based on automated processes controlled by explicit rules and manually written computer programs. Artificial intelligence (AI), on the other hand, differs from these advances because it is self-learning and can make connections on its own. In this way, AI can assist us with more challenging and complex tasks that often cannot be described explicitly and systematically. As a result, AI is already taking on more tasks than previous technologies and will have an even greater impact on professions and industries in the future. As Jens Polominski, OMT expert and tech influencer, expressed at OMR 2023, "AI won't take your job, a human with AI will."
Thus, the question is: How will my field - the design and development of digital user experiences - change in the next five years? In addition to the familiar application areas in image and text development, the focus will be on the entire development process of a website, portal, application, etc. How will design be transferred to HTML and integrated into a CMS in the future?
Already now, building block systems like Jimdo, Wix and Co. offer AI-based solutions for an automatic creation process. These systems are certainly suitable for smaller websites, but they are not yet sufficient for complex information architectures, which we mostly develop. However, this is only a question of time. The complete design and development process will be created AI-driven in the future. Already there are tools that allow to transfer final artwork from Figma to HTML (e.g. locofy.ai, quest.ai, durable.co); software that will write software.
Similar predictions can be made for the development of email marketing, social media campaigns, or performance marketing campaigns. Optimally, campaigns will emerge from intensive data analysis, which will also be AI-driven in the future. To date, we were mainly concerned with the evaluation before and after a campaign as well as its creation. The technology was in the foreground.
Overall, more time will be left for the actual performance, the creative creation process. To date, we have often been busy with the operational aspects of our work described above. With the introduction of AI-driven processes, it will be possible for us to complete these tasks more efficiently and quickly. This will give us more time and space for the actual creative process. And can focus more on strategic planning and implementation of creative ideas. Ultimately, human interaction will remain irreplaceable and indispensable for many people. At least that's my confidence.
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Head of Digital Concept
Senior Text & Conception