In a recent statement from the Creators' Rights Alliance (CRA), a united voice for creators made up of organisations representing creators in the U.K, passionately explained that we need to be careful about the potential damage and risk this new era of AI could cause to our creative industries.

Now, what I like about the statement the most, is that it isn’t what I thought it was going to be — which is essentially a big pity-party campaign where the author merely complains about all this new AI technology and wants it to magically disappear. That would have been the wrong tone, super unhelpful, and a total turnoff. 

No, instead…the statement is positive, diplomatic, adaptive and — dare I say — creative!

CRA members welcomes new and innovative technologies, such as AI that enable human creators to produce inspiring work that benefits both the businesses, and the audiences who enjoy it. However, we are concerned this current AI technology is accelerating and being implemented at pace, without enough consideration of issues around ethics, accountability, and economics for creative human endeavour.

Basically, the government has recently released a paper addressing the rapid rise of this new AI and has outlined some key principles around safety and security, transparency and explainability, fairness, accountability and governance, contestability and redress. 

The CRA are appreciative of the paper — they just don’t believe the measures the government have outlined go far enough to protect our creative industry and its future.

If you’d like to read the statement in full, here’s the link

What does this mean for the future of freelancing? 

Well, ironically, and almost too coincidentally, there seems to be plans in the UK to boost our creative sector by £50bn by 2030. 

So while AI job-replacing hysteria manifests…we seem to have other ideas at large as a nation. Something's not quite adding up here, is it? 

This being said, it would still be wise not to completely ignore the rise of AI and carry on with business as usual. At the end of the day, this current lot in Parliament don’t have long left it would seem, and I wouldn’t trust them as far as I could throw them — so as far as I’m concerned — I’ll look out for myself and choose to stay ahead of AI before it replaces me. 

I still remember years ago when automation was replacing workers in supermarkets, in warehouses, and in hospitality…I said to myself — “Alan my man, as a creative, you needn't ever worry about being replaced.” 

Then only 6 years ago, this AI screenwriter short film dropped.

Sure, it was bunch of gibberish to me then, and absolutely hilarious — but it was definitely a sign of things to come. 

Now just over a half a decade later, we have ChatGPT and beyond. 

It's no longer just concerning…it’s a little scary. And now, us creatives aren’t exempt. We have no divine right or entitlement to keep our jobs, while others lose theirs. Our imaginations are an open marketplace too, and software developers have every prerogative to compete with them — so long as it creates fair, healthy competition and nothing more. 

My advice is that as freelancers, instead of ignoring AI and/or even complaining about it… we need to become experts with it. We need to learn these tools and get ahead of the curve every step of the way, in order to illustrate to our clients that it's not the tech alone that does the work, it’s still the person using it. 

Sure, there are certain tasks that can be done with a simple prompt in ChatGPT but we’re still a distance away from it replacing all need for human involvement. During this transitional period, it’s important we show our clients that they still need us, even if we’re the ones using AI tech in the process of our craft — because we know how to talk to it to get what we want. We need to add expertise of AI creative tools to our skill-sets and core offerings. 

We need to adapt to all this new AI, use it against itself, and become even more valuable in the process. 

But what does this mean for the craft of creativity? 

Life is such a vicious cycle, innit?

Here I am trying to cheerlead our corner as creative professionals and put a positive spin on all this….but in the pursuit of that it also creates another problem. 

If we as creatives become experts using these AI tools, what does this mean for the raw, organic, natural creative process? Literally the thing that makes us so passionate about what we do. 

The ideation stage, the brainstorming, the development, the lightbulb and eureka moments where the penny drops and we fall in love with an amazing idea spurred into existence from nowhere.

Where the idea happened all on its own. Where were left to our own devices. Where we deliver something so special to our clients. 

I’ve talked about this before.

What happens if we lose this fulfilling process and we merely become technicians of these AI tools for our clients? Thousands of Freelance Project Managers and Prompt Engineers. Is this the death of ‘creative process’? 

Instead of a great illustrator actually illustrating, Prompt Engineers are paid to write precise keyword driven descriptions to an AI illustration tool that will use parts of multiple illustrations created by human artists to generate a Frankenstein (and most like impressive) version of their request?

We don’t create anymore, we ‘creatively communicate’ with technology to generate the same outcome…but faster.

What does the world look like if this becomes the reality? Will all creators become professional prompters? And how long until prompters are replaced? 

How far does this go? Where does it end?


Feature: fauxels
1) Andrea Piacquadio
2) Quang Nguyen Vinh
3) cottonbro_studio