Anyone who is keeping up with the eye-watering pace of change in the generative AI space (or is at least trying to) will know that few things stay still for long.
A few months ago, I wrote a blog outlining how Empower – as a values-led organisation – could begin to go about navigating this technology. Safe to say much has changed since then – but our approach, considerations and cautious excitement remain as they were.
One thing that has become clear to us is that charities, NGOs, communicators and the creative industry as a whole are currently grappling with the implications of what a generative AI-powered future might look like.
Shortly after the blog post was published, I was contacted by Roisin Buckley, Director of Piquant – a creative agency of similar size to our own – based out of Limerick, Ireland. To celebrate their 10th anniversary, they were organising GASP! Ireland, a conference bringing together professionals from across the creative industry.
They were seeking speakers for the opening panel, discussing the future of work for the creative industry, and naturally this included the topic of generative AI.
How the topic of AI permeated the event
I love working remotely, although I spend much of my time in a relatively isolated farmhouse in Devon. The prospect of sitting on a stage, in a city, in front of an audience was about as far flung from my day-to-day as I could imagine. Nonetheless, I took the plunge (with some encouragement from supportive colleagues) and soon found myself flying to Shannon.
The event Piquant put on – spanning two days in the heart of Limerick – was fantastic. I was joined by a diverse group of speakers; Dr Dale Whelehan of 4 Day Week Global, Jessica Fuller of the Western Development Commission and Kevin Durant of NearForm.
We discussed everything from the promising potential of a shorter working week, to remote work and the future impact technologies may have on our professional lives and the industry as a whole.
Other talks throughout the day included insights from the multi-award winning animation studio Cartoon Saloon, through to TikTok strategies, influencer relationship management, and how organisations can scale up in the creative industry. It was a real privilege to connect with so many passionate creatives and listen to some highly thought provoking discussions.
It was also telling to see just how many times the topic of generative AI came up throughout the day, across many different discussions. It’s an area full of excitement and interest but also genuine (and well-placed) concern around the impact it might have on jobs, competitiveness and the creative process itself.
Familiarity with these new technologies – as well as caring about who is behind them, and what data has trained them – will be key to understanding how we can go about harnessing the opportunities while minimising the risks for our industry.
You can watch the event recap here:
A sensible approach to working with AI in the creative industries
So what comes next? We’re still keeping a keen eye on developments in the generative AI space, and have begun work on our AI Comms Lab – where we’ll be exploring how and whether the breadth of new generative tools can be compatible with values-driven organisations.
We’ll soon be releasing the findings from our survey on AI anxiety in the creative industry; including responses from over 200 professionals working in Design, Development, Comms, Marketing, Digital, Video Production and other teams.
If you’d like to learn more about how we’re beginning to navigate this space, join us at CharityComms’ webinar on June 22, where I’ll be joining a panel of speakers to discuss some of the benefits, pitfalls and ethical considerations of charities working with AI.