The Flesh Is Weak, a robot in a space suit. Can live streaming save your job from AI?
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Now Targeted Live Streaming Can Save Your Job From AI

Creative people are concerned about AI replacing them. If you are one of them, what can you do to save your job from AI, or more specifically the potential threat of it making your role redundant? I think live streaming could provide the answer.

In episode one of my video series, This Is What Streams Are Made Of, I discuss this issue.

Now, when I say that I discuss the issue, I should point out that as well as setting out my argument, I also actually had a discussion to explore my position. And I this (in May 2024) with Chat GPT 4. Is that ironic or entirely appropriate? Perhaps it’s both. You decide.

Watch the part of the video where I talk about the issue of how live streaming can save your job from AI.

It went a little something like this…

Dougal: I work in the creative industries as a content creator, digital media producer and director, creative strategist and consultant. My company, Inner Ear, specialises in live programme making, podcast production and interactive storytelling.

My 9-year-old son asked me recently if my job would be replaced by AI. I thought it was an interesting question. I know that many people working in the creative industries are concerned that generative AI tools, like ChatGPT and other OpenAI services, Midjourney, Adobe’s AI tools and so on, will erode their market share and take their jobs.

As a producer, director, consultant and creator, I am not so pessimistic. I see AI services as fantastic tools for accelerating the creative process, providing sources of inspiration, aiding innovation and simplifying complex tasks like data analysis. I think they can and do help me be better at my job.

Chat GPT: Your perspective on the integration of AI in the creative industries, particularly in roles such as content creation and live performance production, highlights a significant discussion about the evolving relationship between technology and creativity. The apprehension around AI in creative roles stems from its capability to automate tasks that were traditionally human-led, which indeed raises concerns about job displacement. However, as you noted, there are several ways in which AI can serve as a beneficial tool rather than a replacement.

AI tools can indeed streamline processes, reduce the tedium of repetitive tasks, and provide new ways to approach creative problems. For instance, in digital media production, AI can assist with editing, enhancing audio and video quality, and even in generating initial content drafts. This can free up creative professionals like yourself to focus more on the nuanced, strategic aspects of production that require human insight and emotional intelligence.

When it comes to live performances such as theatre, music, and dance, the essence of “liveness”—the spontaneous, interactive elements that characterize live events—remains irreplaceable by AI. These events thrive on the unpredictability of the moment and the unique, unrepeatable interactions between performers and their audience. AI might enhance these experiences, for example, by optimizing sound and lighting based on real-time feedback, or even personalizing the viewer’s experience through adaptive streaming angles, but it cannot replicate the core human elements of performance.

Furthermore, AI can act as a catalyst for innovation within the creative sectors by enabling creators to experiment with new forms of expression. For example, AI-driven analytics can help predict audience preferences and trends, which can inform more targeted, impactful creative strategies. AI-generated content can also serve as inspiration or a starting point for human creators, pushing the boundaries of traditional media and storytelling.

However, it is crucial for creators and strategists to be proactive about these changes. Engaging with AI technology to understand its capabilities and limitations, shaping its development through feedback and ethical considerations, and continuously upskilling to stay relevant are vital steps. This approach not only mitigates the threat of obsolescence but also leverages AI as a tool to enhance human creativity rather than replace it.

In conclusion, while AI poses challenges to the creative industries, it also offers substantial opportunities. The key is in leveraging these technologies to augment human capabilities and enrich the human aspects of creative work. This mindset will help ensure that the evolution of AI in creative fields complements rather than diminishes the role of human creativity, maintaining the indispensable value of the human touch in artistic expressions and live experiences.

Dougal: And is there anything particularly special about creating live streamed programme content to digitise artistic performance, in respect to championing human creativity that AI can never replicate?

Chat GPT: Creating live-streamed program content to digitize artistic performance indeed highlights aspects of human creativity that AI is unlikely to replicate fully. Here are a few elements that make live digital performances uniquely human and challenging for AI to replace:

  1. Emotional Resonance and Authenticity: Live performances, whether streamed or in-person, carry an emotional weight that is deeply tied to the authenticity of the moment. The performer’s ability to connect emotionally with the audience, respond to their energy, and adjust their performance in real-time is uniquely human. AI, while it can analyze and replicate patterns of emotional expression, lacks genuine emotional experience and the intuitive grasp of human emotions in a live setting.
  2. Spontaneity and Improvisation: One of the hallmarks of live performance is its spontaneity. Artists often improvise and react to the immediate context, audience reactions, and even potential technical glitches, which adds a layer of excitement and uniqueness to each performance. This dynamic element of unpredictability and the performer’s ability to navigate it creatively is something AI cannot authentically replicate, as it operates within predefined algorithms and data sets.
  3. Cultural and Contextual Sensitivity: Live performances often incorporate elements that are culturally and contextually rich, reflecting the nuanced understanding of human history, societal norms, and subtle social cues. While AI can learn and mimic certain cultural elements, the deep, empathetic understanding of cultural contexts and the ability to engage with them thoughtfully is inherently human.
  4. Ethical and Artistic Choices: During live performances, artists make instantaneous decisions that involve ethical considerations and personal artistic choices. These decisions often reflect complex human values and moral judgments, such as the choice to highlight certain themes or respond to current events in a sensitive manner. AI’s decision-making process, by contrast, is based on data and algorithms, and while it can simulate decision-making in uncertain environments, it does not “understand” these decisions in a human way.
  5. The Shared Experience: Finally, the shared experience of live performance—both among the audience and between the audience and the performers—is a profound aspect of human social interaction. This communal experience, where individuals share a moment in time, collectively experiencing the unfolding of artistic expression, helps forge a unique connection that is emotionally and culturally significant. AI can enhance this experience through technology (like improving streaming quality, accessibility, etc.), but it cannot fully recreate or replace the communal and ephemeral nature of live performances.

These elements underline the indispensable human touch in creating and experiencing live-streamed artistic performances. While AI can support and enhance these experiences in many ways, the core of live performance—rooted in human creativity, empathy, and interaction—remains beyond the scope of what AI can achieve. This underscores the value of human artists in preserving the unique essence of live artistic expressions in the digital age.

Dougal: And why is this especially relevant to my pursuit of teaching people how to create live digital experiences, including producing live streamed programmes?

Chat GPT: Teaching people how to create live digital experiences, especially in producing live-streamed programs, is highly relevant and beneficial for several reasons, especially in the context of integrating human creativity with technological advancements like AI:

  1. Skill Development in a High-Demand Area: The demand for live digital content has surged, accelerated by global shifts toward remote interaction and digital platforms. Training in live digital production equips individuals with valuable skills in a growing field, where businesses, educational institutions, entertainment industries, and even individual content creators seek to engage audiences through live streaming.
  2. Leveraging Technology: Understanding how to effectively use streaming technology, software, and platforms enables creators to produce high-quality content that stands out. This includes not just the technical aspects of streaming but also how to integrate tools like AI to enhance production quality (e.g., using AI for better sound management, scene transitions, and audience interaction).
  3. Creative Expression and Innovation: Live streaming is a dynamic medium that allows for a lot of creative freedom and innovation. Educating creators on how to explore and implement artistic elements in live settings can lead to new forms of expression and storytelling. This fosters a culture of innovation that can influence broader trends in digital media.
  4. Interactivity and Engagement: One of the unique aspects of live streamed content is the ability for real-time interaction with the audience. Teaching how to maximize this interaction can transform passive viewers into active participants, enhancing the engagement and impact of the performance. Understanding audience management, interactive tools, and feedback loops are crucial skills in this area.
  5. Understanding Audience Dynamics: Training in live digital productions involves learning about audience analytics and behavior. This knowledge is critical for tailoring content to audience preferences, improving reach, and maintaining viewer interest, which are essential skills for successful digital content creators.
  6. Ethical and Cultural Sensitivity: As live digital experiences can reach a global audience, it’s important to educate creators about cultural diversity and ethical considerations. This can help prevent cultural missteps and promote content that is respectful and inclusive.
  7. Resilience and Adaptability: Live streaming inherently involves unpredictability and the potential for real-time problem-solving, from technical difficulties to handling unexpected audience reactions. Teaching how to handle these situations not only builds resilience but also adaptability, qualities that are invaluable in any professional setting.

In essence, your pursuit of teaching live digital production is not just about training on the technical execution but also about fostering a deep understanding of the human-centric aspects of live performances. It prepares individuals to excel in a digital landscape where technology enhances human creativity, rather than replaces it, and ensures they are equipped to produce meaningful and engaging live content that resonates with diverse audiences.

Do you want to learn all about live streaming so you can excel in audience engagement? Check out our training packages, which are based on our 24+ years of experience and combine creative and technical theory and practice.

Dougal Perman, Director, Inner Ear