Is generative AI a tool for creative empowerment and efficiency—or a threat to a swath of creative professions?

OpenAI’s CTO Mira Murati isn’t worried about such potential negative impacts, suggesting during a talk this month that if AI does kill some creative jobs, those jobs were maybe always a bit replaceable anyway.

“I think it’s really going to be a collaborative tool, especially in the creative spaces,” Murati told Darmouth University Trustee Jeffrey Blackburn during a conversation about AI hosted at the university’s engineering department.

“Some creative jobs maybe will go away, but maybe they shouldn’t have been there in the first place,” the CTO said of AI’s role in the workplace. “I really believe that using it as a tool for education, [and] creativity, will expand our intelligence.”

During the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity this week, Murati predicted during another talk that the future will involve a “collaboration” between humans and AI. In her view, AI will largely become a tool for continued human work.

Since OpenAI released ChatGPT to the public, fears that different types of generative AI could take or eliminate jobs have swirled across a range of industries. OpenAI has been pushing its text-to-video Sora tool to Hollywood. Game developers, writers, and voice actors have also expressed anger and frustration over generative AI tools and voices that could take their jobs as companies like Microsoft and Electronic Arts embrace AI.

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It isn’t all bad, though. AI could create some jobs and reduce the time it takes to do certain tedious tasks. And if AI’s outputs are lackluster or generic, humans will still be needed to recreate or fix AI-generated work. From a legal standpoint, however, AI outputs may not be a great solution for a final product as they may not be protected by existing copyright laws in the US. This means companies might use AI as a brainstorming tool or jumping-off point, but ultimately opt for unique, human-created outputs for their final products.

Creatives aren’t the only ones whose jobs could be at risk, of course. Some tech firms are convinced AI is coming for human jobs. Companies like Google and Intel have reportedly made plans to replace some human staff with automated AI tools. And software engineers and cybersecurity workers could also lose jobs thanks to AI as startups like Cognition Labs are accused of coding their own replacements into existence.

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