While the AI trend continues to take over the marketing world in 2023, there are clear concerns about what it could mean for the future of the creative field. Artificial intelligence has come a long way in recent years, and one of the most interesting developments has been the use of AI to generate images.
Could creatives soon be competing with machines for jobs?
It’s certainly possible, but before any (more) fear is elicited, let’s break down what exactly AI-generated images are and how they are made.
What Exactly are AI-generated Images?
Put simply, AI-generated images are images that are created entirely by an algorithm, without any input from a human artist. The possibilities for this technology are vast, and it has the potential to revolutionize creative services completely.
This algorithm is trained on a dataset of images, and then it uses that training to generate new images that are similar in style and content to the images in the dataset.
The algorithm can generate anything from realistic photographs to abstract designs, and it can even create entirely new images that have never been seen before.
The more detailed and specific the original prompt, the more likely the algorithm will be able to successfully generate a slew of images based on the information.
How Quickly are AI-generated Images Created?
One of the most interesting things about AI-generated images is that they can be produced at a speed and scale that would be impossible for a human artist. With traditional art, it can take hours, days, or even weeks to create a single piece.
With AI-generated images, however, an entire collection of images can be produced in a matter of seconds. This speed and scalability have the potential to completely transform the creative services industry.
Common Concerns Surrounding AI Creative Services
Much like other industries currently being impacted by AI trends, the creative field is no different. Graphic designers, developers, and artists of all kinds have concerns about the impact that AI-generated images will have on the industry.
Putting Artists Out Of Work
One of the biggest concerns is that it will put traditional artists out of work. After all, if a machine can create images faster and more efficiently than a human artist, why would anyone hire a human artist in the first place?
While it’s true that AI-generated images have the potential to replace some types of artistic work, it’s important to remember that there are some things that machines simply can’t do.
For example, machines don’t have emotions or life experiences, and they can’t create art that is deeply personal or reflective of the human condition. There’s real power in passion, which leads to the notion that there will always be a place for human artists in the industry, even as AI-generated images become more prevalent.
There is also a general cause for concern when it comes to copyright infringement. It may be impossible to tell where inspiration or reference is coming from with AI-generated images being pulled from every edge of the web, which could make usage guidelines rather hazy going forward.
This directly plays into the looming issue of information interpretation. How AI algorithms interpret an image prompt is almost certainly going to be different from what the human mind can envision.
With a few general searches, there seems to be a clear lack of realism in many of the AI-generated options. Many have clear imperfections or unrealistic styles that folks working in the creative field can easily spot, further emphasizing the battle between quantity and efficiency against quality.
Lack of Diversity
This also leads to the concern that AI-generated images could make the industry less diverse. If the majority of images are generated by machines, there’s a risk that all images will start to look the same. This could result in a lack of diversity in the industry, as well as a loss of creativity and innovation.
The Positive Outlook on AI Creative Services
On the contrary, there’s also the potential for AI-generated images to make the industry more diverse. For example, AI could be used to create images that are more inclusive and representative of different cultures, races, and backgrounds.
Additionally, AI-generated images could be used to create images that are more accessible to people with disabilities, such as images with audio descriptions or images that are designed to be viewed by people with color blindness.
Many of these image styles are currently lacking when it comes to widely available stock assets that already dominate the web.
Think about all of the off-the-wall requests that would have taken hours to manipulate different stock photos to get the request just right that could now be at the disposal of AI. It’s true that these could become an extension to stock assets and give creatives an endless library to play with, but at what cost?
Are AI-generated Images Free?
While many companies offer a few free credits for AI-generated images, once these credits run out many companies will attempt to capitalize on subscription-based services.
OpenAI’s AI-generated image platform, DALL•E, includes 15 free credits upon account creation. This system is still not perfect and oftentimes crashes mid-search due to server errors, but produces some decent options in the grand scheme.
Adobe is also Beta-testing its new AI-generation platform, Adobe Firefly. The Firefly Beta is currently only accessible to approved creatives with active Adobe subscriptions.
The Future for AI Creative Services is Now
Adobe plans to take its AI capabilities to even bigger heights as well, with ideas in place that could transform the efficiency and overall framework of the creative field.
Adobe is exploring the following capabilities with Adobe Firefly:
- Text to image (AI-image generation)*
- Text effects*
- Recoloring vectors
- Personalized images
- Text to vector
- Extending image aspect ratios
- 3D to image
- Text to pattern
- Text to brush
- Text to template
- Sketch to Image
* available with the Beta version
Fortunately for us, our team has already been approved to test Adobe Firefly (Beta) and is actively exploring its capabilities and offerings.
As a matter of fact, the images featured throughout this post were all generated with Adobe Firefly… with some human manipulation, of course.
Overall, it’s clear that AI-generated images have the potential to completely transform the creative services industry. The concerns about the impact that this technology could have on traditional artists and the creative process are very real, but it’s important to remember that no matter how advanced the technology becomes, there will always be a place for human creativity and imagination.
It’s important to note that the AI trend is not limited to creative services. Read more about how AI is impacting other industries below.