If you haven’t heard about the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), odds are you haven’t checked out any news outlets recently. AI is one of the hottest topics in several industries, with questions ranging from its potential to whether people need to worry about their jobs (or the possibility of robot overlords).
As you may have guessed by the existence of this post, the multimedia market is no stranger to the presence of AI. Technology is changing the way that we create visual assets, but lines between human work and AI automation are getting blurrier by the day if you’re not behind the scenes.
…and that’s exactly why we want to give you a peek at what’s going on behind the scenes. AI doesn’t need to be a shady secret, so we’re here to showcase our thoughts on AI, how it’s impacted our team, and what that means for the brands who do business with us.
AI is a (Really Cool) Tool
Change is scary, especially when it comes to people’s livelihoods. It’s no surprise when people worry that AI may take their job because it’s a natural reaction to any hot, new trend that impacts an industry.
Let’s travel back in time to another terrifying new technology: Photoshop. When Photoshop was first introduced, photographers freaked out. How dare this new program come and potentially take people’s jobs! Turns out, it didn’t – in fact, it made photographers’ lives easier and now it’s a must-have for any professional in the commercial photography field.
Like Photoshop, AI is a tool that we can use to streamline our jobs and open brands up to new opportunities. How so? AI gives us the ability to do a higher level of work in the same amount of time that we’re already billing for a job. If a client wants to swap colors or test a different variation of something, we can do so without increasing budget. We can concept different ideas in tools like Midjourney or assist with storyboarding so that clients can test ideas out in a fraction of the time (and cost) it would take before AI.
On the business end, AI can streamline internal processes and documents to make our lives a lot simpler. AI programs can break down summaries, assist with asset management, and implement processes into our financial side to break down our PNL sheets and monthly spends. By getting our house in order, we’ll have more time and energy to focus on improvements elsewhere.
We’re Already Using AI
While AI still feels so shiny and new – and some of the latest tools certainly are – it’s not the first time that we’ve seen them in our industry. New AI technology has opened up more possibilities, but we’ve embraced similar tools for years without all the hullabaloo surrounding technology these days.
ChatGPT may have helped kick off the AI craze when it was released late in 2022, but many multimedia tools have had AI components for a while. DaVinci Resolve is a software that we use in post-production and it’s no stranger to AI features like face refinement. These days, we can combine all these tools along with newer toys like Midjourney and Stable Diffusion to give us the power to present brands with new options that we didn’t have before.
AI isn’t Human
Unless we’re talking about Allen Iverson, AI hasn’t crossed over to humanity just yet. Robots are great, but they won’t replace the brains on your multimedia projects.
The tricky part about working with AI tools is that they only know what they’re given. It can solve objective puzzles and games with definitive best answers because it’s been given the answers for all the best moves. What it lacks is the more inherently human part of being creative and turning ideas into visual assets.
Plus, we’ve got a long road ahead of us before AI reaches perfection.
Take our own test-run of Midjourney, a powerful AI tool that creates images from text descriptors. We asked Midjourney to create realistic images of a bathroom, a kitchen, a faucet, and a flat lay of items you may find in a bathroom.
These images may seem impressive at first glance, but look a little closer and things get, well, weird.
From wonky faucets to misshapen bathtubs, AI doesn’t understand nuance the way humans do. These images remind us that while artificial intelligence is intelligent, it’s still got a long way to go before it’s fool-proof. In the world of creativity, the imperfections of AI serve as a testament to the value of human ingenuity, expertise, and creativity.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and robot eyes just aren’t the same as human eyes. AI can’t tell when a client gets visibly excited by a concept. There will always be a very human element of creating multimedia assets, and AI is there to help us take our thoughts and turn them into real deliverables.
The other part of why humanity is still necessary is that you need somebody to drive the proverbial bus. Someone needs to understand the emerging social trends and other factors that impact what your audience wants to see. AI tools also won’t start on their own – they need a human to prompt them first. AI will pull results from its database of knowledge, but only if you tell it to do so and have an idea of what you want to achieve.
AI isn’t Done Yet
One of the most exciting parts about AI is that it’s still learning. Old tools have become better and more sophisticated, and that trend isn’t stopping anytime soon.
There are so many AI multimedia tools that aren’t ready for commercial use, and what is available may only get more powerful. Now, this isn’t a case where the Skynet eventually improves on Arnold Schwarzenegger's original T-800 Terminator model and sends out Robert Patrick’s T-1000 – at least we hope not.
Instead of creating a war with malevolent robots and humans, we’re just hoping for new AI tools that can improve current technology. We’re here to help brands reach their audience. If new AI innovations can help us do our jobs better and more efficiently than before, then our group of very human people will be ready to take advantage of them for brands in need of quality visual assets.