How Generative AI Could Disrupt Creative Work

generative ai
generative ai


In the face of technological change, creativity is often held up as a uniquely human quality, less vulnerable to the forces of technological disruption and critical for the future. Today however, generative AI applications such as ChatGPT and Midjourney are threatening to upend this special status and significantly alter creative work, both independent and salaried. The authors explore three non-exclusive scenarios for this disruption of content creation: 1) people use AI to augment their work, leading to greater productivity, 2) generative AI creates a flood of cheap content that drives out human creatives, and 3) human-made creative work demands a premium.

The “creator economy” is currently valued at around $14 billion per year. Enabled by new digital channels, independent writers, podcasters, artists, and musicians can connect with audiences directly to make their own incomes. Internet platforms such as Substack, Flipboard, and Steemit enable individuals not only to create content, but also become independent producers and brand managers of their work. While many kinds of work were being disrupted by new technologies, these platforms offered people new ways to make a living through human creativity.