News: All hail our robot overlords: How we’re using AI at Creatomatic

All hail our robot overlords: How we’re using AI at Creatomatic

Kit Allen 16th of March 2023

Disclaimer: This article was written by a human. Of course, that’s exactly what a robot would say

The big story to kick off 2023 in the tech world has, without a doubt, been the rise of publicly accessible AI. From the occasional human interest story and prototypes at tech conferences, it’s suddenly everywhere.

In case you’ve missed it, the two big players in this game right now are Midjourney and OpenAI. The former has created an AI-powered artwork system which produces truly beautiful artwork with minimal prompts; the latter are the authors of ChatGPT. Between them, and with the input of a handful of other players, it’s very swiftly opened up artificial intelligence to the masses.

The technology is – and I say this without a hint of hyperbole – mind blowing.

I’ve studied and worked in tech for a quarter of a century now and have seen a fair few ‘this changes everything’ moments in this time. The closest match I can really remember here, though, is when Napster turned up and blew an enormous hole in the music industry.

It’s hardly surprising, then, that some digital agencies are adopting similar expressions to that of a badger, pausing in it’s nocturnal ambling, to look up at the fully loaded timber lorry approaching at full speed…

Yes, of course MidJourney generated this image.

There’s been an interesting range of reactions to the technology in the last few weeks. Some people fear the inevitable rise of a Terminator-style robot uprising (and if some of the initial reactions from Bing – before it’s AI component was lobotomized – are anything to go by, it looks like Skynet might have met it’s match). Some people foresee an even faster accelerated transition of wealth from the poor to the rich. At the very least, a lot of creatives, writers and coders are worried for their jobs.

Our viewpoint

Here at Creatomatic, though, we’re taking a more optimistic standpoint. We’ve taken the technology on board, and we’re running with it. To explain why we’re excited rather than fearful here, let’s take a look at at a similar example: camera phones.

It’s been twenty years since camera phones started to appear on the scene. Since then, they’ve moved on from blocky pixelated thumbnails to integrate professional-grade lenses and technology which has effortlessly leapfrogged the majority of DSLR cameras. They’ve put professional photography equipment into everybody’s pockets.

So…why are wedding photographers still a thing?

The answer is simple. It’s one thing to have the technology to hand; it’s another thing altogether to know how to use it.

We suspect that AI techology is going to do something rather similar to what digital did to the print industry at the turn of the century. (Live by the sword, die by the sword, I guess.) Some traditional print companies wrung their hands and lamented the death of the industry. Some of them stuck stubbornly to ‘doing what we’ve always done’ – and in some of these cases, watched their businesses get swept away by new technology. And some of them adapted to use new tools and offer new services, and prospered.

How we’re using the technology

So, that brings us back to AI. While the output isn’t quite at the level we aspire to here at Creatomatic, there’s a number of areas where it can assist in day-to-day operations:

  • Development: proof of concept code generation, troubleshooting, research and development.
  • Content: brainstorming ideas – a proper copywriter’s input can’t be beaten, but ChatGPT signals the end of writers block.

We’ve experimented with using it as part of our design process yet but while the results can look impressive, we don’t feel that it’s the right fit for ideation or creative delivery…yet.

It’s all about adopting the technology to complement the work we do already. The technology isn’t at a stage to generate final project deliverables right now, so we won’t be replacing our team with robots just yet – but we’re excited to use AI as an additional tool to deliver our work faster and better.

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