Adobe says, “AI Will Not Replace Artists”

Addressing the fear that AI could one day replace artists, Adobe’s Chief Product Officer Scott Belsky said at Adobe MAX 2022 that AI should only ever be “your co-pilot in creative endeavors.” He said Adobe wanted to develop its AI offering thoughtfully, “approaching the idea from a creator-centric perspective. We want it to benefit creatives, not replace them.”

Mr. Belsky’s statement is, at best, wishful thinking and, at worst, a boldfaced lie. AI will absolutely replace millions of commercial artists, and it will do so in the most damaging way. AI can do the menial, entry-level tasks of an assistant in an instant: type spec-ing, kerning and leading adjustments, color family matching, alignment of light sources, basic rule of thirds and golden rule layouts, template creation, resizing artwork based on deliverables lists, simple (and complex) illustrations, graph creation, data visualizations, stylization of the art, filter studies, color studies, style studies, creation of style books… These are all the things you used to use to train your assistants, all the things they needed to learn to become senior art directors, now all done by machine. AI will not only replace these workers; it will eliminate the training grounds. However, new tools call for new skills and new skills create new jobs…

These new tools empower increased productivity by those who choose to learn them. Those who do not embrace the “new new thing” will not fare well. As an example, back in the late 90s (when there were fewer than 100 recording studios in NYC), some of the very best studio musicians in NYC were seen driving taxis to make ends meet as digital audio workstations became the primary way commercial music was produced. They didn’t want to learn new ways to produce music; they “knew” (past tense) how to produce music. There are now several million recording studios in NYC – they are in people’s smartphones. This is such an old story that it’s hard to recognize at the speed new versions are unfolding.

This year, we will see a wealth of new AI tools hit every industry, reducing every entry level job to algorithms. Yesterday, I wrote about in the context of NSFW content creation. Below is the image it created for today – you can see the description… the AI did the rest.

Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit



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