Can creatives harness the power of AI or are we all doomed?

Or is AI going to take our jobs?
Written by Craig Berry, Designer & Writer at Nomad.

We’ve heard it all before and we know it’s going to happen eventually but we still want to believe it won’t. I’m talking about AI taking our jobs and by ‘our’ I mean everyone, including you. Any job in the world can, in theory, be automated. Any job done on a computer = replaced. Any job that requires a computer = replaced if you add a robot arm(s). Some websites list jobs that will never be taken by AI including teachers, writers, lawyers, social workers, therapists etc. But I don't see how something that can store and recall every piece of history, data, fact, law, case, or medical condition can be anything other than a replacement for us mere humans. The general response is that AI, robots and tech lack emotion but that's only now, do you not think that engineers and scientists are working tirelessly on doing that?

It doesn't have to be so serious though as taking jobs away from lawyers and social workers. The recent craze of AI image generators is fun, they have the ability to create complex images in seconds by virtue of a couple of basic prompts. Add more complex prompts, get more complex results and so on... Want to see a cat, riding a bicycle, in front of Big Ben, wearing a Santa hat? In the style of Vincent Van Gogh? (do you really?) Well. Here it is... in four variations, that you can edit and enhance and enlarge. Engorge yourself in it. It's hours of endless fun.

But, to be serious again for a second, if you stop joking around and look at what's going on, it's creating something out of nothing, in seconds, for free... something that used to (still is, for now...) be the job of talented creatives, artists and designers who have dedicated their lives to their craft. You have to feel for them. Generative AI has the potential to ruin their careers and the careers of many professional creatives. It's not a new thing though. Before mainstream AI generators like DALL-E 2 and Midjourney, online logo generators have been around where you can ’make‘ a logo online for your business in seconds, except now it's only gotten better and will only get better. We may not have to worry just yet though as it can actually help us as creatives and designers...

But, why not turn to the expert for this? I've enlisted the help of ChatGPT, an AI writing tool – yeah, AI can write your university dissertation, your loved one a poem, your enemy a rap diss, your best man a wedding speech or your blog post on the subject of its own inception and purpose. Featuring images generated by DALL–E 2 AI.

Can designers handle the power of AI or are we doomed?
Written by ChatGPT & images by DALL–E 2.

Q: What is AI?

Artificial intelligence, or AI, is a rapidly evolving field that aims to create intelligent machines that can mimic the cognitive functions of humans, such as learning and problem-solving. It involves the development of algorithms and systems that can analyse data, make decisions, and perform tasks without explicit human input. There are many different types of AI, ranging from narrow or weak AI, which is designed to perform a specific task, to strong or general AI, which has the ability to perform any intellectual task that a human can.

Some common applications of AI include language translation, image and speech recognition, and autonomous vehicles. As AI technology has advanced, there has been a growing concern about its potential impact on the job market, particularly in industries that rely on repetitive tasks or data analysis.

Graphic designers, who use a combination of artistic and technical skills to create visual content for a variety of mediums, may be particularly vulnerable to the influence of AI.

”A designer sits at their desk, surrounded by their computer and design tools, with a worried expression on their face as they consider the potential impact of AI on their job.“

Q: Is AI coming for graphic designer's jobs?

However, it is important to recognise that AI is not necessarily a threat to the job market, but rather a tool that can augment and enhance the work of human professionals. In the field of graphic design, AI can potentially assist in the following ways:

Automating repetitive tasks
AI can be used to automate tasks that are time-consuming or repetitive, such as colour correction or layout design. This can allow designers to focus on more creative and strategic aspects of their work.

Enhancing creativity
AI can also be used to generate new ideas and concepts or to suggest alternative design elements. This can help designers overcome creative blocks and explore new directions in their work.

Improving efficiency
AI can analyse data and make recommendations based on user preferences and past successes, helping designers to make informed decisions and work more efficiently

Facilitating collaboration
AI can be used to facilitate collaboration between designers and clients, by providing real-time feedback and suggestions for improvement.

Enhancing the user experience
AI can be used to analyse user behaviour and preferences, helping designers to create more personalised and effective designs.

“A person stands in front of a computer screen, with a thoughtful expression on their face as they consider the potential of AI in graphic design.”

Q: Is AI generated graphic design ethical?

The ethical considerations surrounding AI are complex and multifaceted. On one hand, AI has the potential to bring about significant benefits for society, such as improving efficiency and productivity and enabling people to achieve tasks that would be otherwise impossible. On the other hand, there are also valid concerns about the potential negative consequences of AI, including job displacement, privacy violations, and the potential for biased or discriminatory outcomes.

In the field of graphic design, the ethical considerations of AI are closely related to its impact on employment. If AI is used to replace human designers entirely, it could have negative consequences for the industry and its professionals, leading to job loss and economic disruption. However, if AI is used to augment the work of human designers, it has the potential to improve efficiency and productivity, allowing designers to create higher-quality work in less time. The ethical use of AI in the field of graphic design will depend on how it is implemented and utilised. It is important for both the industry and individual designers to approach AI with a balance of caution and optimism.

By staying informed and adapting to new technologies, graphic designers can effectively harness the power of AI and continue to thrive in their careers.

Pretty compelling, right? This is a real human writing now.. I promise. It’s clear from what AI writes about itself that it has massive potential to become a tool for creatives; we should see it as a compliment. In a way that we use type specimens or colour books or stock photography libraries or even Pinterest, it‘s a tool that can be used to assist us, not the answer.

So much so that creatives, designers and studios are already using AI tools for their work and their clients. Jessica Walsh’s &Walsh recently rebranded Isodope (an influencer brand raising awareness about nuclear energy as a clean, sustainable climate crisis solution) using AI (DALL-E), using it as a source of inspiration and a design tool where prompts became outputs which became further prompts to generate ideas, then edited with other design tools.

Jessica said about the project: ’I know there is backlash against AI tools in the design world, which is natural, this always happens when a new tool threatens to take a human’s job. However the reality is that it’s already here and we can choose to ignore it and become outdated by it, or we can choose to find creative ways to work with it and push our work further into territories that we couldn’t have before.‘ Amen.

We need to embrace AI, not ignore it.

Writing to Tell, Writing to Sell
An ode to the tagline
This x That x Them x Those