The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in generating story ideas and scripts for movies and TV shows was one of the reasons behind the Writer’s Guild of America strike in the spring of 2023. However, according to Greg Harrison, chief creative officer at MOCEAN, a creative agency that works with companies like Netflix, Paramount, and Marvel, generative AI technology presents both opportunities and challenges for creative professionals.
While there was initially alarm when AI tools like Midjourney and ChatGPT emerged, Harrison and his team concluded that AI is not yet ready to replace human creativity. Instead, it should be seen as a tool that can provide inspiration and investigation, particularly when dealing with large amounts of material and searching for themes. Harrison believes that AI can be a collaborator, acting as a “copilot” that can produce inspiration for creatives under focused inquiries.
Harrison emphasizes the need to demystify AI and view it as a tool rather than an emerging super-intelligent being. This perspective helps manage the fear and concern surrounding AI’s impact on creative jobs. However, there are concerns regarding copyright and ethics when using generative AI, as it is trained on copyrighted imagery. Without a clear chain of titles or a clean and ethical training base, using such technology in a professional setting becomes challenging. Solutions like Adobe’s generative AI tool, Firefly, are steps in the right direction.
In the near future, AI is expected to be a collaborator under the direction of a creative director. It has the potential to aid in visual brainstorming, exploration, and even final output creation, as long as it remains under human control. This could also reduce the cost of complex visual effects and high-end 3D designs, opening up new opportunities for creative endeavors.
However, AI’s role in the creative industry extends beyond content generation. It can also automate non-creative tasks, freeing up time for creatives to focus on their craft. When integrating AI into a creative workflow, Harrison advises a cautious approach that values human creativity and culture. AI tools should be used for exploration, inspiration, and visual reference in the short term. It is important to experiment with these tools, understand their limitations, and examine their future potential.
When used correctly, AI can free up creatives to focus on creative tasks, which has its own value. The convergence of AI and creativity presents an intriguing landscape for creative industries. Whether seen as a tool, threat, or collaborator, the future of AI in these industries is full of possibilities. The focus should always be on preserving human creativity and culture, fostering collaboration, and maximizing the opportunities that AI offers.