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The Rise of the Machine

16 June 2010 No Comment

Over the years, countless American jobs have been eliminated or dramatically altered due to automation. In an economy that prizes growth and efficiency above all else, this is not surprising.

What’s surprising is that I’ve heard people say that our jobs as creatives could never be turned over to robots or automated in any way.

You can’t write a program to deliver creativity, they say.

Oh really?

I’m pretty sure that program already exists and it’s called the Internet. You know, that place where creatives can visit getty images, archive, youtube and countless other sites in search of ‘inspiration’.

And maybe that is really all you seek, initially.

But then the whip of the deadline cracks and your automated ad maker springs into action. Slap that picture here, borrow that headline from here, throw in a funny reference to that video here and presto, you’ve got an ad! You might even win an award for your ‘brilliance’.

With less and less people to do the work and more and more demand for output, creatives are so crunched for time that it is nearly impossible for anyone to develop an original thought. And because the product you deliver often still manages to sell some stuff, you typically get rewarded for that lack of originality.

But that reward usually comes in the form of more under-the-gun assignments that will no doubt force you back to the well of mediocrity and sameness.

Good robot.

- TJ Bennett

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