Beyond the Alarmist Headlines: Why AI Isn’t the Industry’s Scapegoat

Tyler Perry Studios’ knee-jerk reaction to OpenAI's launch of their text-to-video tool Sora reignited the divisive debate of AI vs. human talent, and sadly feeds into the ultra-viral hype that argues AI will replace human creatives. 🤖

AI won't take your job. 

See, AI completes tasks, but most people's jobs are an aggregate of multiple tasks.

Artificial intelligence tools like DALL-E, Midjourney, Copilot, and now Sora have exploded in popularity recently. Sure, these products make it possible for more creatives to complete tasks like content generation faster than ever before. But faster doesn’t mean better. 

Even worse, some critics have conflated the ongoing waves of layoffs with the widespread adoption of these sorts of AI task-based tools. 

This unfounded assumption is a mistake for so many reasons. 

Straight off, AI should be consciously viewed as a copilot to human creativity rather than an autopilot tool that makes human involvement obsolete. 

Life is getting more complicated for AI and its adoption across every industry. On the one hand, AI democratizes creativity by empowering a spectrum of creatives - from freelancing hobbyists and full-service teams - to create stunning visuals and immersive experiences with ease and speed. Sure, there is now an AI app for everything, from concept design to animation and audio. On the other hand, talented creators at larger studios can use AI to increase and supercharge their creative efforts and amp up their output dramatically. 

But we have got to understand (and even appreciate) how AI can be seen as a crowbar open to the creative process at every level rather than labeling the tech as some sinister replacement for human creativity. Combining human creativity with AI is critical to get the best of any creative output. 

No matter how often the media wants to push the ridiculously shallow narrative that AI is taking jobs away, the harsh reality is that humans are and always will be 100% essential to guiding the creative direction, refining the results, and making deliberate creative choices. As we see more experimental AI rollouts, we should be labeling AI as a copilot - immensely empowering the human pilot's abilities but not replacing them. All AI systems are modeled on and driven by creativity and ideas. And creators, designers, and developers actively contribute imagination and ingenuity rather than retiring from the creative process. 

Don't blame AI for the current spate of bad economics. Unfortunately, some studios and tech companies have repeatedly labeled AI as the easy scapegoat to justify laying off thousands of employees over the past 12 months. What's interesting is how the real drivers behind the ongoing reduction in headcounts are far more nuanced:

  • Volatile market conditions.
  • Pandemic-driven overhiring.
  • Internal strategy pivots.
  • Even pressure from investors to cut costs.

Yes, and the media has deconstructed these key factors as well. But the resulting analyses just don't generate the large volume of clicks that the 'AI-is-going-to-kill-it-all' type of content does.

What's the best way forward? Companies should enable their creative and digital teams to access the latest AI tools instead of limiting progress. The results could be far more ambitious and impactful than the mediocre and potentially problematic content that pure AI often generates without human guidance. Companies that leverage AI ethically while still valuing their teams' creativity and judgment will retain an advantage integral to sustainable scale; they empower their people instead of replacing them. There are some real sea-change use cases on the near horizon that will support AI adoption at scale…coming soon.

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