AI impacts on photographers

image generated by image software to illustrate AI impacts on photographers

Looking at the AI impacts on photographers and content creators.

I am thinking about the effects of AI on content creators and the need to adjust work practices, habits and, in some cases, career choices. Let’s look at the short term, say now out to 12 months. While this article is about the AI impacts on photographers, it will affect all creatives to varying degrees.

Low-end generic stock photography is dead in the water.

Having already been replaced by user AI-created imagery. As of this week, any home content creator, low-end designer/graphics person can, with a few keystrokes, create visual content instantly for cents.

Copywriters are on the way out.

Most hack writers for advertising, editorial and social content have an extremely short life expectancy. Already copywriting teams are reporting job terminations.

Voiceover-artists replaced

Once, the gods of the industry are now being replaced by AI-generated voices and translations. Even flawed, cheap voice-overs are very attractive to bean counters in large corporations.

Designers, I’m sorry, you too.

Regardless of end outputs, visual designers are headed the way of dinosaurs. In an industry disrupted by cheap and often nasty template-based design, AI will mostly kill the remaining practitioners, except for top-level niche workers.

Photo retouchers, goodbye.

Once a highly skilled workforce, digital transformation placed those skills into the hands of people with completely different skill sets. With the rapid implementation of AI technology into photo software, three hours of work has been reduced to mere minutes. Remember, this is just the beginning.

While I am incredibly excited about the new opportunities, AI presents across the board. I do worry about the ability to adapt to a society where seeing will no longer be believing. Lies, and alternative facts, fake news are all virtually undetectable by most people.

The AI impacts on photographers is only just beginning.

As time progresses, AI’s impacts on photographers’ ways of working will be dwarfed by the overall effect on workers and how work is done. I suspect, unlike the era of automation, AI’s advancement will likely be felt more by administrative staff and middle management. Work requiring a degree of intuition rather than a relatively simple repetitive task will not escape dramatic change this time.

Here are some more thoughts on AI impacts on photography over at Outback Photography