Will AI replace creative jobs too?

Will AI replace creative jobs too?

All of our predictions about artificial intelligence have come short in the face of reality. It was only in 2012 scientists claimed AI could never overcome the human mind in complicated tasks, such as playing chess. Never say never. Here we are in 2017 and AI has easily beat the best human chess players.

In 2012, it was estimated that AI and robots would start to replace the human workforce by the 2030s. However, robots and AI are replacing humans by the hundreds all the over the world on a daily basis and it is only 2017.

In the not too distant future, AI is expected to achieve many things. For instance, next-gen AI systems will beat the Turing Test. All five human senses (yes, including taste, smell and touch) will become a part of the normal computing experience. AI will be used to solve big problems, such as detecting and deterring terrorism and managing global climate change. It will also leverage all health data (genomic, phenotypic and social) to redefine the practice of medicine.

Nevertheless, many experts say AI learning is done by estimating outcomes of every possibility, unlike human learning, which is based off experiences. This is why they say AI lacks creativity and intuition. Many people also claim that is why AI will never replace creative jobs. Mind you, there is no discussion about jobs that lack creativity. They will all be replaced. There will be no more factory workers, no more accountants and no more drivers.

I had the opportunity to discuss this matter at length with two experts on how to increase creativity with the best design software. Yes, they are from Autodesk. Tom Wujec, who is also a TED speaker, is a fellow at Autodesk and Callen Carpenter, is the VP Global Named Accounts at Autodesk.

Autodesk is to engineers, architects and all sorts of creative people what Microsoft is to business people. They make software for the architecture, engineering, construction, manufacturing, media and entertainment industries. There is a big probability that the building you live in or the last movie you saw has been made using Autodesk products. So, I feel very strongly the insight they have provided on AI and creativity is very valuable.

Halfway into our conversation, I was very surprised to hear AI has already been used for creative work. Wujec told me one of their new offices was designed mainly by a software. With the current abilities of their software, you can already type in the conditions of the building site, the qualities you want to have in the building and the software does the rest. For example, it gives you a hundred different versions of a building that sits on 1000-meter squares and windows facing west, for 100 people who do not need to sit in the same place every day but like to be close to the coffee machine. Carpenter told me after the software suggests a hundred different layouts, the real creative people come in. He said some person should ultimately decide with which plan to go with and design the rest of the project. Wujec also feels there are two parts to any creative endeavor, the first part is about dreaming and the other part is about doing the cumbersome task of creating the actual blueprint. He underlines the fact that the software can come up with hundreds of different versions but still lack uniqueness. For any project to be very unique and very creative, a human touch is still needed. He says humans will create and machines will help us realize our dreams and creations. For all our sakes, let’s hope he’s right.

Opinion, Ersu Ablak, Artificial Intelligence