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AI may be the key to creativity, here’s how.

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In recent years, artificial intelligence has begun to be seen in a broader range of artistic fields than ever before, which has sparked controversy.

With the rise of artificial intelligence in art, music, and even fashion, people are starting to worry about AI’s takeover of creative jobs. And while this is a valid concern, the onset of AI is inevitable. What comes next cannot be a battle against change, but a partnership for a better future. 

Specifically, AI generation software creates pieces from creative and detailed prompts that artists feed to the program. The bot then uses this information and what is available on the web and churns out an image, text, or melody that resembles the artist’s idea. A meticulous curation process follows, in which the artist sifts through the outputs, and tweaks the algorithm to get the desired result. Ahmed Elgammal, director of the Art and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at Rutgers University, points out this as an element of human intent.

Surely, with such elaborate methods, AI's real potential must not lie in robbing humanity of its creative nature, but rather in allowing that creativity to flourish. Besides, AI could very well be the next medium this era needs for its artistic Renaissance.

How can AI help creativity? 

The answer lies in our needs. There are times when mundane tasks can become repetitive and monotonous, especially if they can’t be done quickly or differently. Furthermore, what these chores do is take up time and energy that could be used for much more fulfilling activities. 

Many artists have one thing in common and it’s that sometimes there is so much to do to maintain their art business and no time to do it. Certainly, after a long day of completing menial tasks, sitting down to create art can be a challenge, especially with a deadline looming over your head. However, AI bots can’t suffer from exhaustion or burnout, so why not use them to maintain art portfolios updated, transcribe audio, schedule showings, or simply respond to those emails that have been sitting in your inbox for far too long?

There are many instances in our daily lives where we already use AI to help us with the little details, such as asking Siri for information on the spot, using Waze for directions in a new city, Google Home to play a trending song and so much more apps that do the small things for us. So it’s only natural to take into consideration that this tool could also be an element that guarantees artists' success in future business ventures, since it can take care of all the small but crucial details and leave all the creative process to the human in charge. 

This can be seen in the latest movie Avatar: The Way of Water, where director James Cameron uses a complex process that involves all new cameras, VFX and AI algorithms to create the magical world of Avatar. “It’s not animation in a Pixar sense where they’re just making stuff up,” Cameron told GQ “The actors already defined what they did, but it has to be translated from the captured data to the 3D-CG character. And there’s all sorts of AI steps in there.”

Another example of the useful properties AI offers for artists is the automatization of small details that can also be time-consuming. In an interview with Sky News, High on Life creator Justin Roiland revealed that he and his team used Midjourney to create a few art pieces for the sci-fi action-adventure game specifically for “finishing touches”, such as posters placed in the background and to prototype some character voices. 

What this would mean is that Roiland, a recognized artist, decided to maximize the functionalities that AI offers and used them to save time and energy in the creation of background art. Moreover, it hasn’t affected the quality of his game, but it did help him, personally, have more space for creativity in the creation of it. As a side note, he also pointed out that this did not replace anyone on the team, it just gave them other functions, those of which actually correspond to human creativity and which he would rather not be replaced. 

This just further proves Elgammal’s postulation of the fact that AI only functions under human intent.

Either way, we can’t put the genie back in the bottle, AI already has advanced tremendously, and it’s only going to continue growing. It’s in our good consciousness to make use of it in the most responsible way, and not let it get out of hand before it’s too late. Since these programs actually function at the will of a human, we must keep our focus on what we really want from it and how it can help humanity grow.

Though there are definitely valid questions about how much we should let AI seep into creative fields, the truth is that artificial intelligence cannot match human creativity, regardless of how much data can be fed into it. Thus, it is worth considering that using this tool as just another extension of humanity, rather than replacing it, could be a much stronger asset than what we could possibly imagine. 


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