In his foundational economic text, The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith said division of labor increases output because division of labor increases dexterity: Meaning that every person committed to a product does the thing they're best at, thus increasing likelihood that they will be successful.
Division of labor was the foundation of assembly line manufacturing, making it possible for Henry Ford to build cars at scale.
Fast forward to the infancy of the internet and the birth of the knowledge economy and nearly every organization was built by division of labor: UX designers to build a website, programmers to build a product, marketers to spread the word, and salespeople to sell the product.
AI is The Great Equalizer
AI is the great equalizer because it puts the power that was once only held by large corporations in the hands of all of the masses.
But since the start of the industrial revolution, the cost of labor has been an obstacle for anybody without deep enough pockets to create anything at scale. This power has been held primarily by large corporations. AI is the great equalizer because it puts the power that was once only held by large corporations in the hands of all of the masses. To put it simply, one person can now create at a speed and scale that would have previously required a team and a significant financial investment.
In 2015, our team at Unmistakable Creative produced an animated series in partnership with Soulpancake, with an investment of 30,000 dollars from the advertiser and a team of 6 animators, a sound designer, and a script writer. It took 6 weeks and was a labor intensive process and required us to create the characters, backgrounds, and animate the characters.
By contrast what you'll see below took 30 minutes and 40 dollars. While the animation may not be as polished as the work of the artists who produced the animated series, what it gives us is a glimpse of the incredible possibilities AI offers.
Creative Execution at the Speed of Thought
As a child of the 90's, I've always been a fan of hip hop from that era- Boyz II Men, Fresh Prince, etc. So when I wanted to make something special for my 3 month old nephew, I decided to rewrite the lyrics to Fresh Prince of Bel Air and turn it into a rap cover. Here's how I did it.
Step1: Use ChatGPT and Rewrite the Lyrics
Chat GPT made it easy for me to rewrite the lyrics to the Fresh Prince of Bel Air song. I simply typed the prompt "Generate lyrics for a rap cover of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air" and Chat GPT provided me with a set of rewritten lyrics that captured the spirit of the original song. I was able to customize the lyrics to make them more personal to my 3 month old nephew.
It took a few iterations to get it right. But it also was a reminder that All AI requires human input . In other words, you are 50% of the equation. As Kevin Kelly wrote in an article on Wired, "What we know about AI generators so far is that they work best as partners."
Step 2: Hire a Freelancer Rapper on Upwork
I hired a freelance rapper on Upwork to create a rap cover of the song using the new lyrics. The artist was responsible for creating a rap that captured the spirit of the original song, but with a modern and unique twist. Forty dollars and a few hours later, I had a custom cover of Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
Step 3: Use Dall-E generate scenes and characters
I used Chat GPT to generate captions and character ideas for a 4-scene animation based on the lyrics. I then used Dall-E to generate images for each scene by pasting each character suggestion into Dall-E and requesting variations on a few of the images.
Step 4: Use Chat GPT to Create a Curriculum to Teach Myself Adobe Character Animator
I used Chat GPT to generate a 10-day curriculum for a self-taught Adobe Character Animator course that would allow me to produce an animation with multiple scenes and characters.
I applied Scott Young's Accelerated Learning Process to the curriculum, which is a method for breaking down complex tasks into smaller, more manageable pieces. This allowed me to focus on one skill at a time and gradually build up to the final product. I identified my learning goals, found resources to support my learning, created a learning plan, and tracked my progress. This was the part that took the most time.
The Future of Creation: AI's Ability to Generate and Innovate at the Speed of Thought
Let's assume for a second that I was already an expert at using character animator. The time from idea to finished work would be less than half a day, possibly less than half an hour. I would use Chat GPT to write my script, which would include scenes and suggest transitions and camera angles. I would then use Chat GPT to recommend imagery for scenes and characters, generate characters and scenes in Dall-E, and animate.
What we're talking about is an ability to create at the speed of thought
As Scott Belsky said in his article Creating in the Era of Creative Confidence "We’re entering an era that changes everything. A few critical technology breakthroughs and fundamentally more accessible platforms are changing everything. From free web-based tools with templates that help conquer the fear of the blank screen to powerful generative artificial intelligence that conjures up anything from a text prompt, expressing yourself creatively no longer requires climbing creativity’s notoriously steep learning curve."
AI has the potential to create one of the most dramatic shifts in power distribution since the industrial revolution by eliminating the learning curve, the cost of labor, and all the other obstacles that would typically be involved in producing work like this.
As AI continues to evolve, it will become an increasingly powerful tool for creators. The ability to generate and innovate at the speed of thought will open up a new world of possibilities for creative expression, allowing anyone with an idea to bring it to life. AI has the potential to democratize the creative process and level the playing field between amateurs and professionals. With the right tools and resources, anyone can become a creator.
Ready to unlock your creative superpowers with the help of AI?
This article is an excerpt from my new book. Pre-order your copy of The Artificially Intelligent Creative today and start creating at the speed of thought! Click here.