AI is OK by me

AI is OK by me

I’m taking a nuanced approach to AI. I believe AI has fantastic potential across many industries, but a human touch will always be needed.

I’ve seen many peers calling for shoving this AI genie back in the bottle forever as it’s going to destroy jobs, even entire industries! And that may happen, it’s probably already happening, but technology changes and marches us forward, for better or for worse.

The invention of photography upended illustration careers. The advent of the automobile destroyed an entire economy that revolved around horses as transportation. With high-speed internet, how many businesses have fallen as we don’t need physical things to hold movies, music, files and software anymore?

I see AI as a coworker. Something that can help me work better and faster to accomplish the design goals I have in mind. Will it change the graphic design industry? Certainly. But the design industry has changed since I became a designer and changed before I got into it. Letraset, Rubylith tape, and process cameras were being torn out to make way for more computer labs when I went to school. My education was all about print design. Now the students I teach are taught print, web, motion graphics, writing, and film, all roles that were separate and distinct once.

AI is a growing and changing thing. I don’t agree with Midjourney scraping the entire internet for its training images. Adobe Firefly has a better mindset with its ethical(ish) data set. Chat GPT has been known to unintentionally lie. There are new tools coming out daily that incorporate AI in some way. Some will stumble and fall and some will become part of our day-to-day routine.

Would I want to see an AI Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard in Breakfast at Tiffany’s 2 which was written and directed by an AI? No! But I could get behind an AI version of Mickey Rooney ‘redoing’ the Mr. Yunioshi scenes as a nerdy white/Scottish photographer instead of the unfortunate yellow face it currently is.

I hope AI becomes a collaborator in whatever role it finds itself in. As a graphic designer, I can see it helping iterate ideas, fixing photos, or assembling a brand guideline using the elements I’ve crafted. I could design a business card and AI could populate all of the different cards needed for a company. It could send out invoices for me and figure out which categories to file expenses under during tax season! I still get to be creative, AI can help with the less-than-creative stuff so I can focus on being creative.

What are your thoughts on AI? Are you worried about your career? Is AI here to stay? Are you already using it as part of your workflow, whatever career you may have?

Note: This article was not written by AI, at all. But the image was generated using a combination of Adobe Firefly (AI text to image) and some typesetting by me in Adobe Illustrator.