If you’ve been near a computer recently, or humans for that matter, then you most certainly are aware of the emerging technology related to AI. It seems almost as the moment the world was introduced to ChatGPT there was an explosion of programs or tools utilizing this revolutionary software. Suddenly, what was a simple bot program, that could answer questions quickly and with an astoundingly human “voice,” produced the groundwork for AI assistance in almost every industry ranging from creative content, PowerPoint presentations, code creation, and (my current favorite) Photoshop generative AI. I think most of us are still getting a handle on how AI can assist our day to day life and yet each time I see AI do something new and unique I am in awe.
MWI is no stranger to technology and has a long standing history of striving to stay ahead of evolving advancements in the creative and technical world of marketing, PPC, design and development. It is not uncommon to find our team at the lastest conference, learning about the latest tools available to us and strategizing on ways to overcome the curve-balls search engines throw our way (I’m looking at you Google). What can I say? We love what we do and can’t wait for the next challenge to emerge allowing us to advance our personal skills and provide the next level of support to our clients.
When AI first “hit the web” our team couldn’t wait to get our hands on the product. And we did. We signed up for ChatGPT and we purchased a variety of premium add-ons. These initial purchases were immediately followed by a small dose of reality, “What do we do with it?” AI offers a new world to us, and our clients, but figuring out how to utilize it in ways that make our jobs easier, that allow us to deliver and execute on bigger/better ideas, and to be more creative and effective at what we do. That is a unique skill set all on its own. A skillset I quickly realized I did not have. It seemed everyone was doing something with AI and, as a technologist, I certainly wanted to utilize it. But how?
Naturally, I did what anyone would do: I replaced Google searches with ChatGPT. It was interesting, ChatGPT returned answers to my previously Google searched questions and genuinely delivered my answer in a “polite” way. I started running some formulas through it instead of punching the numbers in my calculator. While the MWI team remained excited and eager I admit I was thinking “This is it? This is the big revolutionary tool that is going to substantially change so many industries and I’m using it as a calculator.”
I needed to use this tool for something better than as my new Google assistant. I expanded my approach and repository of AI connected tools. I tried the latest AI trends but I still wondered why using AI felt underwhelming. And maybe it’s because it is so simple. I felt like there must be more coming.
Whatever came next, it couldn’t be as simple as asking ChatGPT to build me an SQL import script (which it returned in 2 minutes). Neither I nor ChatGPT did anything substantial or special there. It couldn’t be that extra well-written client scope, or that job description it helped me write, or the coding errors it translated so that I was able to effectively fix a feature in a development language I have never used.
It couldn’t be that simple.
Then Adobe Firefly was released. I waited for the beta and watched videos from those who already had it. Hundreds of users showcased their talents with the new AI features available in Photoshop. And, finally, after a couple of months asking ChatGPT to find the percentage of team capacities Adobe AI (Beta) was released.
I think it’s important to highlight, I am not considered a “creative” person. I began my career as a developer and I’ve grown and expanded my career through process, numbers, and data. I consider myself to be a very logical person, and unfortunately, I never transitioned past “stick figures” in terms of artistic talents. There have been many moments I found myself jealous of those with creative minds and the talent to put beautiful creations into paintings, songs, Photoshop art—even the ability to pull together a beautiful website concept is an incredible talent that escapes me. When you build websites for years and still lack the basic knowledge of design to “throw something together” it can be discouraging.
Perhaps it’s my desire to also create beautiful art, while lacking any artistic skill whatsoever, that drew me to Photoshop AI. Could I actually design something? I downloaded Adobe’s beta immediately.
Here it was, one of my personal most awaited AI tools, on my computer ready for me to create something incredible. And, now I was back to the same question I had with ChatGPT, “What do I do with it?” I was at a loss as to where to start. Apparently creativity doesn’t just happen to you. It doesn’t manifest just because a tool is sitting in front of you.
I had absolutely no idea what to create but I really really wanted to use it.
I remembered earlier that day my team was searching for images of soldiers but the requirement was that the image exclude weaponry of any kind. Most of the team preferred this image, or at least I did, but unfortunately the weaponry excluded it as an option.
I know Photoshop editing and the removal of objects within photos is not a new concept. There are incredibly talented and skilled individuals who have been doing this for years. I also know how incredibly difficult it is to professionally alter a photo. Trust me, I have spent countless frustrating hours attempting to extend the width of an image to span across full screen browsers. I have spent numerous, frustrating hours trying to blur out, smear, magic select—whatever it is the talented people are doing—in order to get an image to display properly on a website, or remove that extra element in the background. Once, I even spent a number of hours (okay, days) attempting to edit my favorite photo of myself into an acceptable profile picture by removing my surroundings (it was unsuccessful).
I am familiar with Photoshop and its capabilities, but I have never been able to successfully utilize Photoshop to do anything I wanted it to do. Okay, I’m underselling myself, I can crop an image beautifully. I long since gave up trying to use Photoshop, it was not my talent. These days I quickly send anything that doesn’t have a solid background to our talented and incredible design team.
But, I had Photoshop AI now and I was definitely going to do something with it. I opened Adobe Firefly Beta for the very first time and loaded in the picture of the soldiers. I then proceeded to do exactly what I had witnessed in many videos; I highlighted the area containing the gun, a prompt appeared, and I typed in “Remove Gun from soldiers hands.” And…
Adobe returned this message: “One or more words in your prompt violates users guidelines.” It’s ironic that Adobe’s AI won’t let me use a word in order to remove the very thing it finds offensive.
It was certainly anticlimactic. Momentarily defeated, I tried my next prompt “Remove object from soldiers hands” and within seconds this happened.
Now, that was awesome.
Once this happened I immediately reverted my change and clicked record on my screencast. Below you are witnessing my first attempt at editing a photo using Adobe Firefly – ever.
This is the moment I realized – It truly is that simple.
The power of AI is its ability to strengthen our own capabilities to achieve greatness. AI has the potential to support and empower people who will use it to create, develop, expand on and actualize their own concepts. AI can bridge the gap between profound ideas and our ability to bring them to fruition. When something revolutionary evolves from AI, it will not be AI that produced it. It will be humans who, through AI, were able to overcome their own limitations and enhance their own talents to reach extraordinary outcomes.
If you have yet to explore AI, or don’t know where to start, consider your greatest talent or greatest weakness and search for the tools that will assist you in overcoming your own constraints allowing you to focus your attention on enhancing your talents and achieving the desired outcome.
Just be warned when you use AI it may not feel revolutionary. It may feel too easy, even like you are cheating. Don’t allow yourself to feel threatened by AI; using AI does not reduce your talent, creativity, or the value of your ideas, contributions, and creations. It is a tool for you to use and achieve the impossible.
If you’re interested in learning more, collaborating, sharing ideas or wondering how AI can excel your team and enhance your growth opportunities, reach out, we would love to hear from you!