Howard Saunders   May 17, 2024   Uncategorized   0 Comment

No photography, no actors, no scenery, no cameras, no musicians, no production company…just me and a keyboard. Text to video is in its infancy but text to image gets better by the week, literally. When I started playing around with some of these programs a few months ago I was pretty impressed, but there was nothing like the level of texture and detail you can achieve now.

I’ve spent my entire working life in the creative industry. My memory is hazy at the best of times but I do know that a good few years of my professional life was pre-computer. It was all cutting boards, scalpels, Letraset and spray mount. Computers landed at the end of the eighties and suddenly we could produce instant designs without the need to stay up all night slicing letters out of Pantone film. All those years ago the threat was that computers would take our jobs and we’d end up packing bags at the Tesco checkout. Thankfully, Tesco never had to deal with an influx of entitled designers from Soho.

But the arrival of AI is sure to change everything: these creative tools are beyond anything we’ve ever imagined. And remember, it’s only week one. I’ve already been challenged by designers who say, ‘Yeah, but the copyright’ or ‘Yeah, but there’s no soul’. I just smile knowingly at the smell of clever people pooping themselves.

Sure, the hands can go a bit weird and the eyes wobble like a demented rattlesnake, but how many weeks will it be before they fix that? Basically folks, content is now free. No need to fret over finding the right actor or model. AI will fill the role instantly with a perfect, racially non-specific person without the need for any agency, fees or royalties.

And Suno will write you a nice little ditty as the background music. No need for any grumpy old failed rock star to feign interest in your ‘exciting new product’ as he takes the brief for another ‘something upbeat with a catchy refrain’.

So. Will AI take all our jobs and ultimately destroy the planet? Quite probably. But seriously, I won’t get into all that here. Maybe next time. In the meantime, can I suggest we loosen up and enjoy these fantastic new creative tools. After all, as Spaceboy says, ‘life is an adventure’.

Join me on X  @retailfuturist  for proof that we’re all going to hell in a handcart.

About Howard Saunders

The Retail Futurist, otherwise known as Howard Saunders, is a writer and speaker whose job it is to see beyond retail’s currently choppy waters. Howard spent the first twenty five years of his career at some of London’s most renowned retail design agencies, including Fitch & Company, where he created concepts, strategies and identities for dozens of British high street brands. In 2003 he founded trend-hunting agency, Echochamber, inspiring his clients with new and innovative store designs from across the globe. Howard relocated to New York in 2012 where the energetic regeneration of Brooklyn inspired his book, Brooklynization, published in 2017. His newfound role as champion for retail’s future in our town and city centres gave rise to the title The Retail Futurist. Howard has been interviewed on numerous television and radio programs and podcasts for BBC Radio 4, BBC Scotland, the British Retail Consortium, Sky News Australia and TVNZ, New Zealand. His talks are hi-energy, jargon-free journeys that explore the exciting, if not terrifying, retail landscape that lies ahead. When not in retail mode, Howard has recorded, literally, thousands of digital music masterpieces, most of which remain, thankfully, unheard.

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