January 16

Why AI Will Have a Positive Impact on Creative Work

Five years ago, I tried an AI logo generator, and the results weren't great. But by 2022, AI had made huge improvements. AI will have a positive impact on creative work by freeing us up to use our creative abilities. We can use AI to imagine, invent, innovate, and create.

In an article on Singularity Hub, Edd Gent said that 2022 was the year AI finally started living up to its hype.

  • AI image-generation tools are producing stunning visuals
  • AI writing tools are producing content that's indistinguishable from something written by a human

Today, we can use AI to transcribe podcasts, correct typos, design websites, make logos, produce images and deal with almost any tedious or repetitive aspect of creative work. And in the next few years, we'll be able to do even more.

If you're a creative person who learns how to leverage AI to complement your abilities, not replace them, you'll have creative superpowers.

The Basic Definition of Artificial Intelligence

AI will have a positive impact on creative work
Photographer: Alex Knight | Source: Unsplash

Artificial intelligence (AI) is an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans. AI encompasses a wide range of technologies, including machine learning, natural language processing, and image recognition. AI enables machines to interpret and act on data in ways that are similar to how humans interpret and act on information. AI technologies are used to analyze large amounts of data, recognize patterns, and make predictions.

Data Is the Linchpin of Artificial Intelligence.

AI will have a positive impact on creative work
Photographer: Carlos Muza | Source: Unsplash

If you break a logo down into its parts, it's a combination of colors, fonts, and other forms of data. The reason an AI logo generator is better now than it was 5 years ago is that more people have used it, giving it more data to recognize patterns and make predictions.

The Limitations of Artificial Intelligence

AI will have a positive impact on creative work
Photographer: Possessed Photography | Source: Unsplash

As Gary Marcus said in his book Rebooting AI, AI Capabilities are Narrow, "The central problem, in a word: current AI is narrow; it works for particular tasks that it is programmed for, provided that what it encounters isn't too different from what it has experienced before. What we have for now are basically digital idiot savants: software that can, for example, read bank checks or tag photos or play board games at world champion levels, but does little else."

Machines Can't Match People

Technology augments human abilities. It doesn't replace them. Critical thinking gives humans a competitive advantage over machines. We can ask questions that encourage elaboration and use divergent thinking to make connections between ideas. These are all uniquely human skills.

Humans Thrive at Being Creative. Machines Thrive at Being Analytical

Generative AI will alter how we design just about everything. Oh, and not a single human artist will lose their job because of this new technology. – Kevin Kelly, What AI Generated Art Really Means for Human Creativity

When my mentor Greg traveled around the country between 2010 and 2013, he would ask people if they knew how to use the internet. After they looked at him, somewhat dumbfounded by what seemed to be a really stupid question, he would ask them to show him something they made using the internet.

As tools become easier to use, technical competence will become less important. What will matter more is a creator's ability to imagine what's possible with the tools at their disposal. The question creators need to ask every time they discover a new tool or platform is "What could I make using this?"

Prolific Creators Will be the Biggest Beneficiaries of AI

Photographer: Matúš Gocman | Source: Unsplash

In his book Originals, Adam Grant found that people with the highest volume of creative output produced the highest quality of creative output. Put simply, the more you create, the more you learn, and the better you get. Improve the volume of your creative work and you improve the quality of it.

Artists with the largest bodies of work will be the biggest beneficiaries of artificial intelligence.

As Jason Fried said, “Creative work is rarely a linear process of producing one outcome. It’s a branching process of producing many outcomes, some of which are useful, some of which aren’t.” These byproducts are often seen as “wasted” effort, but they can be valuable in their own right. The byproducts of creative work can be repurposed in many ways, and they often lead to unexpected rewards.

Every successful creator knows that the key to their next great idea is already in their previous work. For creators with large bodies of work, AI can help them get more out of their existing work, especially if it's organized.

AI Will Speed Up Creative Execution

In a world where AI systems could enhance creative processes, humans still would be expected to take on higher-level tasks, such as developing ideas, giving instructions, evaluating, revising, and making final decisions – and they would have infinitely more options at their disposal. – Taesu Kim, The Future of Creativity Brought to You By Artificial Intelligence

Every creative endeavor involves tedious tasks that are necessary for success. And these types of tasks are often the biggest bottlenecks in the creative process.

But thanks to the capabilities of AI, we'll see a dramatic increase in the speed at which we can complete these tasks.

  • Writers will be able to retrieve knowledge with zero friction and produce finished works in record time.
  • Designers won't have to spend time on tedious tasks like adjusting font sizes or aligning graphics.

Speed as a habit will be a default when it comes to creative execution.

AI Makes it Possible to Repurpose Existing Content at Scale

Photographer: Possessed Photography | Source: Unsplash

For artists with large bodies of work, the greatest benefit of AI will be the ability to repurpose existing content at scale.

Since starting The Unmistakable Creative 13 years ago, I've interviewed more than 1000 people. And I have an encyclopedia of knowledge on topics ranging from productivity to happiness. Because I've imported all of my transcripts into Mem, I can retrieve anything in seconds and make use of it immediately.

Social Media

As a podcast host, promoting my interviews on social media can be a time-consuming and expensive task. In the past, I either had to do it myself, which could take hours, or hire a social media manager, which could cost hundreds of dollars per month. But now, thanks to AI, I can quickly extract social posts from a transcript in just a few minutes.


When I'm writing an article, I can use AI to quickly find quotes or content from my podcasts or books. With Mem's AI, I don't have to open a note or copy and paste anything. I can also repackage content from my podcast transcripts as I did with The Unmistakable Book of Wisdom Volume 2.

A few months ago, I hired a writer to turn my Youtube videos into blog posts. The goal was to improve my search rankings and direct people to my website. But the version produced by Mem's Smart Write and Edit feature was much better than the version created by the writer.

AI Changes Power Dynamics

Photographer: julien Tromeur | Source: Unsplash

AI gives individuals the same power that was once only held by big companies. The things that make us human, our ability to think critically, generate creative insight, and develop bold, compelling points of view combined with the power of AI will give creators the ability to do the kind of work they've never been able to do before.

"We will stand out in school and at work with our creativity rather than our productivity. Success in most white-collar jobs — and hopefully K-12 education — will shift from the endless drive for more productivity — being promoted because you accomplished more in less time — to standing out through your creativity" says Scott Belsky

"What we know about AI generators so far is that they work best as partners" said Kevin Kelly. If we develop a symbiotic relationship between humans and machines, machines will do what they do best so humans can spend their time on what they do best: value-producing activities only humans can do.


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