How is Artificial Intelligence used in Creative Technology?
Professionals who work in creative technology put a variety of AI-enhanced technologies to use, including natural language processing, data analysis, and image and music generation.
The uses of artificial intelligence (AI) continue to multiply at a rapid pace. One of the areas where experts are applying AI is creative technology, where designers can use new digital tools to develop unique and innovative work that was impossible – or, at least, much more time-consuming – without AI and machine learning.
Professionals who work in creative technology put a variety of AI-enhanced technologies to use, including natural language processing, data analysis, and image and music generation. Despite being the product of programming and algorithms, AI has a creative side. Or, more specifically, it can help humans better develop their own creativity.
A recent study out of the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute in Switzerland found that while AI cannot develop new ideas on its own, it can support people in doing so. Or, as the study put it: “AI can augment human creativity.”
What Is Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning?
As news about advances in AI seems to change almost every week, it’s important to agree upon a definition of what AI is and what it can do. Investopedia defines AI as “the simulation of human intelligence in machines.” Humans have access to AI though software applications programmed to think like humans and even mimic their actions, including the ability to learn and problem solve.
Machine learning refers to a subset of AI and involves the ability for computer programs to learn from and adapt to new data without human assistance. Machine learning programs engage in automatic learning through the analysis of text, images and videos.
In practice, both AI and machine learning are already part of everyday life in ways that people today accept as normal. However, it would shock a person from the mid-20th century. For example, anyone who has ever purchased a recommended product online did so on the advice of artificial intelligence - those recommendations from Amazon and Netflix are generated by a software program that predicts what you will like based on past purchases and viewing habits.
As noted by the European Parliament, AI also powers:
• Digital assistants, such as those on a smartphone
• Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) in vehicles, such as lane departure warnings
• Language translation software
• Search engine results
• Smart home technology
• Traffic flow systems used in smart cities
• Cybersecurity software that detects and prevents cyber attacks on home laptops and computers
What is Creative Technology?
As people have become more familiar with using AI in everyday life, professionals also have incorporated it into their work. While most associate AI with areas such as finance or retail, it also plays an increasingly large role in creative endeavors.
Creative technology typically involves using advanced digital tools to create enhanced digital media as well as synthesize new original work. Digital tools available in creative technology include graphics, digital cinematography, virtual and augmented reality, 3D modeling, creative coding, generative AI and printing.
Those who work in creative computing range from artists creating immersive digital artwork to graphic designers developing digital marketing campaigns. Those who study creative computing typically use technology in a variety of careers, but the common denominator is that they focus on creating unique, interactive digital experiences, as well as on using technology to enhance traditional forms of expression.
Someone who works in creative technology may work in a variety of jobs, including UX designer, multimedia animator, game designer, creative coder, AI artist and web, mobile and AR/VR designers.
How AI Can Support Better Creative Technology
Those who work in creative technology already spend every day using digital tools to improve customer experiences or create immersive digital environments. Using advanced AI and machine learning is a natural next step in the process.
Jan Bieser, the author of the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute study, told Forbes that “foremost among AI’s many capabilities” is how it can handle routine tasks, such as searching for information. This allows people more time “for stimulating activities that can lead to new ideas.”
For those who work in creative technology, AI can help with mundane, repeatable tasks such as finding and analyzing data from a marketing campaign or providing a projection on how many customers might be reached by creating an experience in a metaverse.
An example AI used in a creative endeavor is the movie trailer created by IBM Watson for the horror film, “Morgan.” In just one day, the AI cognitive platform analyzed visuals, sounds and composition of hundreds of existing horror film trailers - something it would have taken humans weeks to do - and selected scenes from the completed “Morgan” movie for human editors to put together in the trailer.
For designers specifically, the California Business Journal notes that AI is useful for image recognition, pattern recognition, and natural language processing, as well as using AI image generators to create intricate designs.
AI programs also can make suggestions for visual editing (such as color correcting or enhancing the image), assist with the design of 3D models, make suggestions on typography based on context and the intended audience, and generate complex patterns and designs that humans might not be able to do on their own. Program director Ira Greenberg uses AI to create original artworks, on par with his drawings and painting.
Creative limitations of AI
One of the biggest current debates about AI is its possibilities in creative fields. Through its ability to rapidly process data, AI may offer insights to creators that did not occur to them on their own. Through machine learning, software systems also can detect patterns in consumer data that might suggest the addition or subtraction of some design element in marketing campaigns. The benefits of AI also rest on what humans do with the technology. It’s up to people to decide how to use the information that AI provides them. In the context of working in creative technology, it’s best spent on developing new ideas and other creative pursuits – things that only humans can do well.
Artificial intelligence is a powerful tool that can be used in many ways to create better experiences within creative technology and even synthesize new original creative work. It can help with both the creative and technical aspects of projects, and it can also take on more mundane tasks to free up time for creativity. AI helps to eliminate the limitation within the creative process and assist in assets.
Explore the World of AI and Creative Technology with SMU Meadows
The SMU M.A. in Creative Technology program, launching in fall 2023, will cover the role of NFTs as well as other emerging technologies such as AI, blockchain, AR/VR and more. According to program director Ira Greenberg, a collector and creator of NFTs himself and co-founder of Emprops.ai, one of the areas that the new graduate program will focus on is connecting generative art, which involves creative coding in the NFT space, with generative AI.
“Nobody had done it. We launched Emprops.ai as the first NFT platform to mint generative AI,” Greenberg said. His project ‘The Oracles,’ with 1,000 unique tokens, is the first long-form generative AI project of its kind.
To learn more about SMU’s M.A. in Creative Technology program, visit our program page.