Inspirations

The impact of tech on the creative sector

I am sitting outdoors at Pi School, surrounded by green, debating the future impact of technology on the creative industry, with students from all over the world. You know how, back in the 4th century BC, Aristotle used to sit in the shade and debate with his students? Well, this is my modern version of it.

The view of Pi School from the pool
The view of Pi School from the pool

There is a question that, from my experience, all creatives are struggling with: “How should we transform in order to make the best use of new technology for our clients and audiences?”

But, I believe that what is really missing is a discussion about the implications of introducing and using automation technology on the industry itself.

“What could the impact of automation be on the creative sector?”, I asked my students, so I could compare their answers with my own studies and with the discussions I’ve had with more than 400 creatives globally.

Let’s start with the idea that new technology will save time. In general, people believe that the idea of ‘spare time’ is an illusion. We are, so to speak, slaves of our infrastructure. If you are employed for a salary, you will work your hours. So, rather than create ‘spare time’ the impact of technology has been to force us to do more than before within the same timeframe.

In the future, the value of work will be measured by outcomes and not by time spent in a specific location e.g. the office. Machines will always beat humans when it comes to executing the maximum number of repetitive tasks in a given period.

Let’s move on to the threat that technology might replace humans? If you can’t demonstrate some unique creative skill, you may be vulnerable, either to machines or other younger and cleverer individuals who interact better than you with the new technological opportunities. How can we re-evaluate the creativity produced by humans, away from executing technical tasks that can be performed by machines and toward contributions that cannot be automated?

Don’t you think that if technology replaces what we do today, perhaps it will create the space to look at other challenges? Isn’t that what the nature of human intelligence is driven by? The pioneers among us are already re-inventing the usage of creativity beyond traditional streams

Let me sum up and leave you with a list of responsibilities and ideas I’d like to provoke you to get busy with.

  1. Technology is and remains a tool. It’s a gift to you. Enjoy it freely but with responsibility;
  2. There is a need to redesign the educational system to respond to this technical evolution in creativity;
  3. Give yourself a tech-free time every now and then.
  4. Productivity will no longer be defined by time but by outcome. This will be the only way to value creativity in the future. Ideation, in particular, will gain in value once again as technology cannot produce original creative ideas, it can only anticipate or inform them;
  5. It’s not guaranteed that technology will provide you with more free time. But if you do gain time because of technology, dedicate it to remaining human. This helps to better use technology for a better world.

Having that in mind, I believe that Technology and Creativity are two subjects that need to be constantly associated without fear, so that we can achieve great outcomes. We need to understand this fields together, not individually. The future is already happening and we need to make the most of it.

The author

  • Jamshid Alamuti

    CEO and Co-founder, Pi School

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