Creative blocks are an occupational hazard in our profession, and we can sometimes be hard-pressed to find enough time to dedicate to brewing new ideas. Fortunately, there are lots of weird and wonderful tools that can help, whether by automating mundane tasks, eliminating communication barriers or providing ideas that can act as a launch pad for exploration. In this article, we have chosen a few we think are worth sharing with fellow creatives.
If you missed part one, you can read it here. If not, read on.
Until recently, the words “creative” and “artificial intelligence” have largely been seen as diametrically opposed. But, whilst many artists, designers and writers are fearful of AI taking on much of their billable work, others are using it to boost their production, inspire their output and supplement their creative scope. Intuitive tools that harness AI can enhance, rather than replace, creativity.
Midjourney is an art generator that uses machine learning and AI to transform text-based prompts into images. Through the Discord app, you can enter a description of what you want to generate and let the bot do the rest. While the program is not great at rendering photorealistic images, you can create concept images, art in various styles, and bring your imagination to life. With its free trial and monthly subscription plans, Midjourney is an exciting way to explore creative ideas.
“I have been using Midjourney for several months to help with those creative sticky moments. Although my work as a copywriter is largely strategy and text-based, experimenting with visualising ideas, imagery and thoughts can ignite my creative thinking. Using text-based prompts also helps me succinctly articulate my ideas: the clearer my prompts, the better the Midjourney results.”
- Ella Prendergast, Copywriter
Dovetail Transcription is a cloud-based platform for processing and transcribing recordings with an advanced AI-powered speech engine. It’s great for creating highlights and tags in recordings, turning them into searchable audio and video clips, as well as analysing data and creating sets of tags for various projects. Plus, it has a Neuro-Linguistic Programming tool that makes sentiment analysis a breeze.
“I love how Dovetail keeps transcription, inline tagging, and interview-level organisation (device, demographics) in one place. In addition to making researchers more productive, it makes it much easier to find patterns that appear across multiple categories. We were able to find commonalities in how participants talked about science activities and video games while also being able to see that creativity was a part of fun or entertaining events in other areas of their lives. Using more manual tools for affinity mapping would have made this more difficult. Synthesis is always an iterative process, so eliminating tasks like transferring data by hand allows you to get more insight out of the data you have.”
— Evan Stalker, UX Designer
Hugging Face is a community and data science platform that provides tools and resources to enable users to build, train and deploy machine learning (ML) models based on open-source code and technologies. It is a central place where data scientists, researchers, and ML engineers can collaborate to share ideas and contribute to open-source projects. It provides a repository for users to store models, datasets and spaces, as well as a community hub for exploration and collaboration. Through the Hub, users can access tens of thousands of Models, Datasets and Spaces contributed by the Hugging Face community and find an array of helpful resources and documentation.
“While RunwayML are doing amazing things with machine learning for creative folks, Hugging Face is a fantastic resource if you want to poke around at the bleeding edge of research. For example, try feeding CLIP-interrogator a picture of yourself and see what it feels like to be brutally categorised/roasted by AI.”
- Toby Milner-Gulland, Creative Technology director.
Our Copy Lead, Bede, volunteered to be subject to CLIP-interrogator’s harsh critique*. We fed Bede’s LinkedIn profile picture, shown below, into Hugging Face and its evaluation was as follows:
“a close up of a person wearing a suit and tie, inspired by Carles Delclaux Is, stannis baratheon, subtle confident smile, wearing a white shirt, interconnections, american top manager, funny professional photo, wearing a french beret, smile with large front teeth, bosch, ai startup, mohawk hairstyle, welcome, crypto valut”
*Not recommended for those with a fragile ego.
Image: Damien McFerran / Time Extension
Playdate is a portable gaming console from Panic Inc. that features a built-in black-and-white screen, a directional pad, and two physical game buttons. It is designed to be used as an open-source platform for game developers to create experiences with a unique form factor and tactile interface. The device also features Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities, making it possible to download new games and share creations with friends. Playdate also offers a special game development kit that allows developers to design their own games and share them with the online community.
“This tiny new game console is not only adorable and yellow, it’s also very different to anything else. It feels like a wonderful experiment in making it dramatically more accessible and rewarding to make games of your own. See the Playdate dev forum for a community of folks making and learning in public.”
— Toby Milner-Gulland, Creative Technology Director
In conclusion, creativity is a powerful tool that can be enhanced by the use of AI-based and non-AI-based tools. Whether you are a copywriter, researcher, or game developer, plenty of options are available to help you maximise your creative potential. From AI art generators to cloud-based transcription tools, there are plenty of innovative apps and platforms to explore.