The TNW Amsterdam Conference is in full swing. Celebrating innovation across multiple industries the conference brings together creatives, entrepreneurs, artists, and thought leaders. Though topics varied, artificial intelligence and machine learning took center stage at the conference, equally discussed from an optimistic lens and potentially apocalyptic.
Paul Robson's, President EMEA at Adobe, presentation was the former, painting a picture of the near future in which AI amplifies our creative process while maximizing our creative potential.
Artificial Intelligence and Work
On Day 2 of the TNW conference, the Adobe CEO discussed the beautiful potential AI has in the creative field; a tone much different than some of the other creative presentations from Day 1 at TNW. Robson believes there has been a lot of "fear-mongering" around the emerging technology. There is a actually a good chance that if you were to think of AI right now, visions of terminators and cyber overlords pop into your mind.
In the current landscape, there is a shared fear that AI will not only potentially dominate us but it will put most of us out of a job. Yet, Robson believes this is not the complete story and is more of an exaggeration born out of pop culture's own obsession with AI. If you have not already realized it algorithms, the basis for AI, dictate your life already in the best way possible.
Algorithms shape how we experience products, services, social connections, and even entertainment. That new Netflix series that you just "discovered" and are binging was probably recommended to you based on an algorithm that monitors your daily picks.
Why not use algorithms, AI, to push our creativity forward. In fact, Robson explains, AI is already making the world better for the creative. Like a first-year student at Hogwarts, there is a certain magic with this emerging technology that both draws in and scares people.
Quoted during the TNW presentation, Robson cited Arthur C Clarke stating, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Creative work is becoming more complex as the world adopts more ambitious goals, AI could be the great simplifier for those in the creative field.
Artificial Intelligence and Creativity
From creating Art to designing clothes, artificial intelligence has already made its way into the creative fields. "Creativity may be the ultimate moonshot for artificial intelligence. Already AI has helped write pop ballads, mimicked the styles of great painters and informed creative decisions in filmmaking. Experts wonder, however, how far AI can or should go in the creative process," says IBM
The Adobe CEO discussed how AI is the top emerging technology that creatives feel they need to gain an understanding of to be better at their work. Aside from actually creating, AI could be used to hack the creative process itself. Based on a poll by the Adobe team, customers informed the company that people working with Adobe tend to spend 75% of their time on non-creative tasks.
This can be frustrating because if you are creative, you most likely want to spend time focusing on one thing, being creative. As Robson eloquently puts it, "AI could liberate the mind." Algorithms can be put into place to tackle those mundane tasks that take away from your creative process.
Robson demonstrated Adobe's voice-controlled stock photo searching feature. Say you were looking for picture of a dog for a small project. Simply tell the Adobe Stock program to find you a picture of a dog. Or maybe you want to narrow your search and find a dog, riding a surfboard in a hat. Follow the same steps and in seconds you have your dream picture. The purpose of using this machine learning/AI system is not only to make tedious photo searching much easier but it is to remove an interface that, again might have slowed you down.
This, of course, is just the tip of the iceberg. NVIDIA recently prototyped a program that provides hyper-realistic photos off of a few measly sketches using AI. AI will not only help us become better creators, but it could also help lower the barrier of entry for those looking to tap into their creative potential.