AI's role in the future of content creation needs rethinking
AI’s role across multiple sectors is perhaps most pronounced in the realm of media and content creation. There’s a belief that as automation and AI becomes more prevalent, jobs within creative industries will generally be protected. To look even deeper, maybe the application of AI doesn’t need to be such a binary approach. Automation can serve as an important tool that can help accelerate the creation of work, leaving humans to focus on what they do best, creating meaningful, interesting, and culturally relevant content.
Examples of AI in action in content creation
- 1/3rd of Bloomberg News’ content is created via Cyborg, their automated system
- The Guardian published their first “machine-assisted article“
- Ryan Kiros released the neural-storyteller in 2016, which trained a neural network to create descriptions of images
- McKinsey and MIT joined forces to use AI to identify key emotional arcs to help guide storytellers
Areas where AI could be useful to us at MAEKAN
- Help us find very specific references for moodboards such as “photo of person dangling feet off a building in all-white Nike Air Force 1s”
- Help edit out “ums” and “ahs” automatically in audio
- Automatically do a base-level color grade on photos/video as a reference (available in Lightroom)
- Auto-generate transcriptions (currently available)
Are we worried about AI?
Lisa Gibbs, the director of news partnerships for The A.P. suggests, “The work of journalism is creative, it’s about curiosity, it’s about storytelling, it’s about digging and holding governments accountable, it’s critical thinking, it’s judgment — and that is where we want our journalists spending their energy.”
We tend to agree as well. Culture as we know it is very difficult to predict and calculate. Virality and social movements can be monitored but their exact output is uncertain. Humans, for now, have an uncanny ability to track on numerous, disparate topics, that are seemingly created. If AI can help free us up to work on that, consider it a victory.
Despite all of this, we’re aware of the challenges of sustainable journalism
The start of 2019 couldn’t have been worse. In the first quarter alone (we’re not even done), upwards of 2,1000 were lost with big cuts happening at Vice, Buzzfeed, and Verizon. These cuts have been largely associated with a dangerous mix of VC-funding meets an unsustainable approach towards scale-based business models in media. Can AI help here?