AI and Creativity: Addressing the Concerns of Creatives


Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been around for quite some time – in 2022, some key advancements in the field gave rise to tools like ChatGPT, which propelled AI to the public’s attention. This pushed it to be a topic of conversation in education, business, politics, and many other spheres of influence and public discourse.

In the context of creativity, the recent development of AI tools has prompted creative professionals to think the aim is to replicate human creativity. For now, AI still maintains an assisting role in the creative process. Described as technology’s latest effort to shoot for the creative stars, AI’s creative involvement will undoubtedly expand in the coming years.

The Concerns of Creatives About AI

According to a global study by Pfeiffer conducted in 2018, the majority of creatives back then voiced the same concerns about AI as they did in a new 2023 study conducted by the Engine Creative:

AI Concern #1: Homogenization of Creative Output

There is a growing perception that AI could have a leveling effect on creative output that will give way to an era of machine-generated mediocrity in visual production. This may make it challenging to differentiate between machine-generated content and the work of creative professionals for the untrained eye. The concern lies in the potential for AI to standardize visual aesthetics, potentially diminishing the value of human creative expertise. Many professionals worry about relinquishing control over the creative aspects of their work and resist being dictated to by machines.

AI Concern #2: Experimentation Discouragement

The second most popular concern of creatives regarding AI was its potential to drive human initiatives to be driven purely by the factors of profitability, easiness of predictability, and ‘safe’ replication of previous successes. For creativity to advance and thrive, creative people need the permission and space to experiment and challenge themselves without the expectation of constant ROIs. One of the key aspects of creativity is enjoyment derived from free-will experimentation – with that taken away, creatives fear that the true essence of human creativity will disappear.

AI Concern #3: Privacy Transparency and Artistry Control

An issue expressed primarily by designers and writers is privacy and data handling. With the meteoric rise of data collection to improve tool functionality, creatives are worried about the vast amounts of data related to their work that companies like Adobe can gather. At its core, the concern relates to the writers and designers’ fear of their data being processed against their volition and in ways that they do not consent to that may result in their signature style, aka ‘creative identity’, being taken away from them and replicated by AI.

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How Valid Are Creatives’ AI-Related Concerns?

We think the concerns raised by creatives about AI and its role in creativity hold varying degrees of validity. The first concern is grounded in that AI is often instructed to generate predictable content that has been demonstrated to ‘work‘. This effectively means that industries that rely heavily on creativity are incentivized to do away with creative diversity. Similarly, the second concern is valid, as the integration of AI may influence creative processes toward more formulaic outcomes.

Lastly, the third concern related to privacy and data handling is highly valid. Given the genuine concerns over data security and the potential misuse of personal and creative data, we think that AI has the potential to replicate individual creators’ signature output. The validity of these concerns is contingent on how AI is employed and managed within the creative industry. This emphasizes the need for ethical guidelines and transparency in AI development.

What Steps Can You Take to Address the Concerns of Creatives Regarding AI?

1. AI Ethics Guidelines

Establish clear and widely accepted ethical guidelines on how to use AI, like those created by the European Commission. Your guidelines should emphasize how important it is to maintain the uniqueness of human creativity and outline usage of AI in a way that makes it act as a tool rather than a replacement.

2. Human-AI Collaboration

Encourage collaboration between creatives and AI by demonstrating how it can be a valuable assistant in helping artists and designers explore new ideas, automate repetitive tasks, and boost productivity. The easiest path to alleviating concerns about AI replacing human creativity is to have those concerned play around and familiarize themselves with it.

3. AI Education

Offer training and educational programs to creatives to help them better understand AI and its capabilities. This can empower them to use AI tools effectively, maintain creative control, and make informed decisions about when and how to integrate AI into their work. Educational websites like Coursera offer a large number of courses.

4. Transparency Initiatives

AI developers should prioritize transparency in their tools – doing so has been proven by Deloitte to have a positive effect on overall innovation. Creators should have a clear understanding of how AI algorithms work, their limitations, and the extent to which they influence the creative process. Transparency can help build trust and confidence in AI tools.

5. Feedback Mechanism

Lastly, you must make sure that you meet your creatives where they’re at. Conduct surveys and approach your creatives in meaningful and thoughtful 1:1s to collect their frequent and honest feedback on how they are finding working with AI tools, what they think of them, and if they are comfortable with the new direction their work is taking.


As artificial intelligence continues to make significant strides in the creative domain, it is imperative to acknowledge and address the legitimate concerns expressed by creatives. The validity of these concerns underscores the need for a conscientious approach in integrating AI into the creative process. By fostering an environment that respects the essence of human creativity while harnessing the capabilities of AI as a supportive tool, the creative industry can strike a harmonious balance that propels innovation without compromising the integrity of individual expression.

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