“Creativity has been this last bastion of something that seemed untouchable from robots and AI, and it’s this precious process that’s believed to be deeply human. But AI really just myth-busted the belief that creativity is a protected entity.” Cecelia Girr, director of cultural strategy at TBWA’s cultural intelligence unit, Backslash, has just neatly summarised why artificial intelligence is making so many of us feel twitchy.
The technology has been on a gradual creep into our lives for years now, but 2022 saw it vault ahead with tools such as text-to-image generators Dall-E 2 and Midjourney, and ChatGPT – a chatbot that can do everything from writing you a poem to helping you format your Excel spreadsheet.
As Girr points out, humans have clung to a certain smugness about creativity, which has served as psychological insulation when it comes to AI. Computer minds might be clever, but can they really write novels? Dream up ads? Produce artwork? The answer to all of that, it turns out, is probably yes. Whether they’ll be any good is still up for debate; while the current tools still feel like blunt instruments – there’s plenty of AI-generated imagery of humans with eight fingers as evidence – they’re rapidly advancing, and it’s easy to imagine their capabilities increasing exponentially.