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AI is Our Friend (For Now) By: Nick Lau

In the world of digital marketing and creative work, Artificial Intelligence is a polarizing topic. Whether we like it or not, its integration is happening now. On one hand, it is a massive time-saver; AI can compile data, provide advice, and spark creativity. Many tedious tasks could be completely avoided with the correct use of AI. On the other hand, AI is viewed as an emerging competitor for real-world human creativity, and people theorize how it could totally replace human involvement in creative work. It is up to personal opinion on the latter, but that "fear" shouldn't stop us from realizing the incredible tool emerging right in front of our eyes.

Whether or not AI replacing humans is even feasible, the argument is diverting attention away from an incredibly beneficial use that AI has in terms of data compilation and analysis. Rather than spending an exorbitant amount of time researching your target market, local media, and other relevant inquiries, AI can bring the information to you in seconds. This massive part of the creative process, which is as time-consuming as it is imperative to complete accurately, can be done instantly. Obviously, due to the relatively new emergence of AI, the information could be skewed or put in the wrong context. Even so, and with that point in mind, reviewing data is easier on the user than searching for it.

One of the biggest skepticisms of AI is how it will completely replace creatives in their industry. While it is possible for AI to generate entire images and layouts, the technology is still rudimentary and usually results in confusing and messy graphics, requiring human input and review. It is, however, more successful in helping creatives with small details within their larger works. A picture of someone, for example, could be altered to change their background and offer more attention to the subject. Anyone with little knowledge of Photoshop could spend hours perfecting that one aspect of their photo when AI could fix it itself, if not give the user a "head-start" on the editing. Using AI should not be a replacement for the base skills, but what it can do is help creatives begin to learn how to use editing programs without them feeling thrown into the deep end without knowing how to swim.

Whether you support the emergence of Artificial Intelligence or not, you can't ignore the benefit it can have on the creative process. It can't replace true human empathy, strategic thinking, and cultural nuances, but it can shave time off an otherwise tedious and detail-oriented aspect of creative work. As an aspiring creative looking to work in the marketing or advertising industry, I don't worry about AI. Rather, if there was a biographical film about my creative work, I would see it as only a background character.

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