Artificial intelligence's impact on creativity

AI is undisputedly the most disruptive technology since the Industrial Revolution. [iStockphoto]

We are living in a new world, somewhat disconnected from our yesteryears as the social order goes under a rapid transformation.

The era of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is accelerating a burst of activity in organisational learning, science, intellectual assets, art and music.

We have entered an ethereal realm with boundless potential. As a multi-faceted content creator, I am at the front row seat of witnessing the disruption of writing, drawing, sound engineering and film production by the advent of AI. 

AI is undisputedly the most disruptive technology since the Industrial Revolution. A few years ago as a budding caricaturist, I remember how I marvelled at Rotring and Artline pens as Muigai Goko (pen name IGAH) and Godfrey Mwampembwa (pen name GADO), renowned East African caricaturists, took me through the basics of framing and inking comics. 

Digital drawing boards such as Wacom Cintiq and Huion transformed the drawing experience, with otherworldly speeds and efficiency. Enter the digital DaVinci’s and Van Goghs such that are displacing artists through machine learning. Data scientists have now developed robo-artists out of digital neuron clusters called recurrent neural networks.

With any surreal prompt, AI art and image generators such as Dall-E, Stable Diffusion and Midjourney can conceptualise and produce any image corresponding to your prompting creativity. These AI generating capabilities have quickly spread to other facets of artistic expression, with video generators such as Runway ML and Pika Labs.

It is now time to evaluate how technology will improve business and unlock new heights of creativity and ingenuity. It has been projected that AI technologies will increase productivity by more than 50 per cent. For the longest time, Information Technology has been gathering force for its final onslaught on our crumbling institutional bases. We are now facing the inevitability of focusing on a post AI era by re-evaluating the type of knowledge and skills required for the future. We must start re-imagining business processes that will integrate machine intelligence with human intelligence. As AI empowers people to create and innovate at enhanced levels, there’s need to retrain and retool those disproportionately impacted by the changes. 

Language models like ChatGPT embody the vast expanse of human knowledge harvested from sources as diverse as Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, Quora, and the halls of academia.

This digital cornucopia serves as the training ground for these AI behemoths, furnishing them with a mosaic of human expression, from colloquial chats to scholarly treatises. Yet, amid this transformation, an undercurrent of caution surfaces. AI’s transformative capabilities extend beyond mechanising tasks; they encroach upon domains once deemed quintessentially human — creativity, originality and intuition.

Artistry, an endeavour deeply embedded in human history, faces a profound challenge. The automation of artistic creation, underpinned by AI, evokes both anticipation and trepidation.

AI’s burgeoning presence demands introspection. This incipient phase of AI-generated art may be construed as a crude facsimile, but it harbours potential to transcend its nascent stage, evolving into a force that reshapes the artistic landscape. AI transcends mere automation — it permeates decision-making, creativity and societal paradigms. The current landscape, characterised by regulatory debates and technological fervor, necessitates a delicate balance.

The harmony struck between autonomous ingenuity and regulation will chart the course for AI’s impact on humanity — an impact poised to redefine not only industries but also human expression.

-The writer is executive producer of Concept Vault (