In the digital age, the creator economy has emerged as a powerhouse, transforming the way we consume and produce content.
From influencers crafting engaging videos to bloggers banging out compelling articles, the rise of independent creators has reshaped the media landscape — and though it’s still in its early years, the creator economy is about to undergo a profound transformation, thanks to the recent emergence of generative AI, exemplified by ChatGPT's debut in November.
The term “creator economy” describes a digital ecosystem where individuals leverage various online platforms to create, share, and monetize their content or creative output. This evolving economic model has gained significant prominence in recent years, representing a dynamic shift in the way creatives approach their passions.
Generative AI, a technology that enables machines to produce content autonomously, has the potential to democratize and amplify those creatives’ artistic processes. While it may raise questions about the role of humans in content creation, the integration of AI tools like ChatGPT can certainly empower creators like never before.
In a conversation with The Jerusalem Post, Ira Belsky, the co-CEO of Israeli creative technology company Artlist, elaborated on how the advent of generative AI is set to alter the creator economy and why it holds the promise of being a force for positive change in the creative sphere.
“It's truly amazing to see how much people have already changed their day-to-day consumption of content,” Belsky said. “If you look back even two or three years ago, we’ve all shifted to spending more time on platforms like Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and now TikTok. But a lot of people still don’t understand the creator economy, which is actually quite simple.”
“Wherever eyeballs go, that's where advertisers spend. With everyone transitioning more and more each year to consuming content directly from individual creators, the creator economy [begins to take shape]. People can make a living just by sharing their content individually, as long as they have an audience that likes what they do and what they talk about.”
Do you think that advancements in AI and ease of use are expected to influence a broader range of people to step into content creation, including those who might have found it challenging in the past?
"Historically, advancements in how easy it is to create have enabled more people to create. We’re now starting to see [signs of that shift]: people who wouldn’t necessarily have stepped into creation because they’ve found it too difficult will soon be able to do so in the near future. We've already seen this with channels on TikTok utilizing artificial intelligence voiceovers to generate content.
In general, the consensus is that we can expect more and more people to enter the field of content creation as AI continues to make the creation process more user-friendly.”
In regards to the “economy” side of creation, how does widespread access to AI tools impact the balance of supply and demand for content? Does the increased availability of content creation tools potentially lead to oversaturation and decreased demand, or do you believe there's always enough demand for content to go around?
“No, it's true that artificial intelligence will make content creation ‘cheaper’ in a way, which somewhat devalues every individual piece of content.. We can already see [instances of] artificial influencers — particularly in Asia — where you’ll have huge [digital] influencers that don’t even exist. One person can become hundreds of influencers, a case which until now hasn’t been possible."
"You could eventually have more influencers than there are people on planet Earth, which is where companies [will look to get in] and establish extensive influencer networks. Currently, we’re mainly talking about [AI-generated] images, since video technology is not on par with image-related AI yet, but you could imagine a future where influencers are entirely generated and controlled, like characters in a studio.”
In that future, is there any space for human creativity within the creator economy?
“No one really knows where it's gonna land. But I think if history taught us one thing is that the narrative has to have a human concept behind it. It's not enough for the person talking to you to look like a human; we tend to connect with stories that have a human touch.”
“Look at a Formula One race, for example: at the end of the day, the driver is the story, not the car. And even when chess computers beat Garry Kasparov, and are still out there playing way better chess than any human could ever play, we still follow humans in the World Chess Championship. We watch humans run the 100 meter dash even though animals do it faster and we can build robots that could do it even faster than them. So I think if we look backwards, we're drawn to real human stories. AI will become another medium for us to tell and consume those stories.”
“My projection, which might turn out to be incorrect, is that AI will [ultimately be used to] amplify human creativity and storytelling. But people will continue to create because they want to create — people will always make music and art, even if it'll just end up in a drawer somewhere. They don't necessarily do it for anyone else to experience it. The human need to create will continue to exist.”
Artlist, an Israeli startup founded by four friends from a northern Israeli kibbutz, aims to transform the content creation landscape by offering a platform for high-quality music, sound effects, and stock video footage.
The company’s platform has become the preferred choice for millions of filmmakers, videographers, and content creators, enhancing the overall quality and impact of their work. Artlist has recently ventured into the editing tools arena, challenging Adobe's dominance in this space with innovative products.