Imma is a social media influencer. She has launched a collection with The Drop from Amazon Fashion and has been featured in BMW, Dior, Valentino, Tommy, Lenovo, Vivo, IKEA, and Magnum campaigns. You can find her on YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram, and her videos easily get hundreds of thousands to millions of views.
Imma is a successful digital creator. More importantly, she is not human. First appearing in 2018, she is a creation by ModelingCafe.
Imma best represents how AI and the creator economy can work together. With the help of AI text-to-speech voices and other AI technological innovations, creators can create a virtual persona and turn it into a professional creator.
With the help of AI, anyone can find it easier than ever to create and distribute podcasts, videos, artwork, games, music, design, and other creative media. Consequently, it is expected that the creator economy will continue to grow.
The Thriving Creator Economy
The Rise of the Creator Economy, a 2022 report commissioned by Meta, projected that the creator economy would grow bigger than $100 billion. Its current market size is estimated to be worth $104.2 billion.
In 2020, a SignalFire report revealed that around 50 million people globally self-identified as content creators. Two million were professionals who sold their content full-time.
The number of creators is expected to grow even more in the coming years. Travel company First Choice surveyed 1,000 children six to 17 years old. The results show that 75% of them would consider a career in creating online videos. The data also indicate more than one in three wants to become a YouTuber, and nearly one in five wishes to become a blogger or vlogger.
Clearly, the creator economy is thriving, and future generations have an overwhelming desire to become a part of it. Undoubtedly, there’s money to be made and opportunities to be won in creative expression and content creation.
Putting the power of AI in the hands of creators can only mean one thing: There is a good chance AI will fuel the exponential growth of the creator economy.
This Buzzfeed story talks about how a construction worker from Chicago used the Midjourney AI image generation tool to create a photo of the Roman pontiff, Pope Francis, in a white puffer jacket. He did not put too much thought into it, posted it on a Facebook group and Reddit, and was shocked it went extremely viral. One can imagine the potential of using AI in creating viral content.
How AI Weaved its Way into the Hands of Creators
AI and the creator economy are no strangers to each other. Note that the creator economy is not limited to content creators. It’s the entirety of the infrastructure and ecosystem (economic, social, and technological) that enables creators to produce, distribute, and monetize content.
The creator economy includes platforms like Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, and Patreon, among others. These platforms, and others like them, have long been using AI to engage audiences.
The Washington Post reported that TikTok is addictive. It’s no wonder. With its AI-powered recommendation algorithm that tracks TikTok viewing behavior so vigilantly, it can gauge viewer interest. It soon learns to recommend only videos likely to make a viewer linger and stay longer on the app.
TikTok isn’t the only one using AI to improve its algorithms. Facebook has been using it for facial recognition, to provide personalized ad recommendations, and to decide which posts and videos will make it to a user’s feed.
Suffice it to say that the players in the creator economy have significantly benefited from AI. AI helps platforms encourage audience engagement and improve user retention. However, AI is just now gaining traction as a tool for content creators themselves.
It’s true that Imma has existed since 2018 and that there must have been creators that have used AI even earlier. Many content creators also use productivity-enhancing AI tools like:
- Trevor AI to connect to-do lists and calendars for keeping and tracking tasks
- Gmail’s AI tool to compose automated replies and predict text input
- Grammarly to check grammar in written communication and content
- QuillBot to paraphrase existing content
The public release of the OpenAI chatbot ChatGPT in November 2022 put the capabilities of AI, including its viral potential, front, and center. In one month, it had over one million users and, in two months, over 100 million.
It’s clear that the advent of AI tools, particularly those that creators can use to produce monetizable content, has resulted in a significant interweaving of AI and the creator economy.
How AI is Disrupting the Creator Economy
Artificial intelligence drives the algorithm of content platforms’ recommendation engines. That is the biggest AI disruption, and one should see how it fuelled the growth of the creator economy.
AI-powered recommendation algorithms always ensure something interesting to watch and see, improve audience engagement, and strengthen the distribution platforms’ base of content consumers. These algorithms assure creators that their content can get exposure; they just have to produce the type of content the recommendation engines endorse to their users.
That said, AI is not only for content platforms. It has several uses for content creators.
Regularly and consistently creating content is essential to the success of any content creator. Content creators might break through for a moment, become viral for one reason or another, and gain many followers because of one hit photo, video, tweet, reel, short, or TikTok. Without follow-up or new content, however, they can just as quickly sink back into insignificance.
AI content ideation software helps content creators generate ideas for fresh content. Generative AI can brainstorm ideas for a new blog or vlog, suggest content titles and topics, and create outlines and storyboards.
Sentiment analysis can also help content creators gauge the public’s sentiment about particular topics. Armed with a topic or topics, a content creator can use sentiment monitoring software to learn which are popular and unpopular.
With AI’s help, content creators will not run out of ideas. When they regularly post fresh content, they can avoid becoming one-hit wonders and slowly but surely build their following.
AI text content-creation software can help creators create new blog posts, ebooks, long-form content, and social media posts in half the time the task usually takes them. Aside from providing content outlines, these tools can write the actual content, which bloggers can edit as appropriate and needed. AI-powered content optimization and audit tools can help content creators produce search-engine-optimized content.
AI image generation software can accelerate content production for graphics artists and other visual art creators. AI-powered image generation software can create winning artwork (i.e., Space Opera Theater). Storybook authors and novelists can also use such programs to help them ideate or even create their cover artwork and accompanying illustrations.
AI-powered image editing software can help photographers, fashion influencers, and other creators of photographic content. Instead of spending hours editing photographs, they can train AI image editing software on their preferred style. An AI tool can give their pictures a consistent look and feel with one click.
Livestreamers and video creators can use AI video generation and editing software to enhance their videos in production or on the fly. Content creators can take advantage of excellent, undetectable filters and provide localized captions using AI speech-to-text and translation software for better audience engagement.
AI-powered text-to-speech software can provide educational and instructional content creators with a convenient way to turn their educational decks into videos they can readily distribute on YouTube and platforms. They can create text narrations for their slides and, with the help of a text-to-speech generator, create AI voiceovers. AI text-to-speech software is also helpful among game developers.
Podcasters can use AI voice cloning to create virtual versions of their voices. They can produce entire podcast episodes by writing their script and using their custom AI voice clone to deliver their lines. If the podcast involves interviewing guests or interacting with a co-host, they can use different AI voices to deliver other people’s parts.
Animated content creators can create entire episodes using a combination of AI image generation, image editing, video generation, and text-to-speech programs. For example, animated content creators can leverage these innovative tools to produce captivating episodes seamlessly, culminating in a high-quality animated video experience for their audience.
Content creators need to market their services to brands that will pay them for endorsements or to participate in campaigns and to audiences that will pay them a subscription fee or become part of their community. AI brand matching software uses big data to match creators to brands.
Additionally, there is AI-powered automated email generation software. This software helps content creators reach out to more brands to offer their services. AI pricing support software, meanwhile, can help content creators price their participation, collaboration, and sponsored content.
Revenue Generation and Follower Engagement
AI-powered invoice generation software can speed up revenue collection. It can extract data from contracts and other documents, generate invoices, and send them to brand partners.
AI-driven competitive intelligence and marketing automation software can provide insights, segment followers, and create personalized campaigns to encourage engagement, subscription, and other revenue-generating activities.
Virtual Influencer Creation
Ultimately, content creators can use AI modeling software to create virtual characters like Imma and Shudu that they can turn into influencers. Their virtual characters can become a human content creator’s avenue of creative expression, allowing for the execution of unconventional and maverick content ideas.
Since virtual characters are computer-generated, they could be made to do many things human content creators would be hard-pressed to do themselves.
Examples of Artificial Intelligence and Creators: Tools for Creators
Content creators thinking of improving their productivity, content creation workflows, and monetization processes can turn to these AI tools.
Pictory can create videos from scripts, articles, and other types of text content. It can make a summary of a long-form article and then convert that summary into a video using images from its extensive image library, automatically captioned with the summary text created. Editing the text automatically edits the video.
Synthesia allows content creators to create video content using AI avatars. Content creators may use Synthesia’s stable AI avatars, but they can also request the creation of their custom avatar, their digital twin.
Play.ht has more than 900 custom AI voices in over 130 languages. It even has a voice cloning tool. Content creators can use Play.ht to create custom voiceovers for their video content.
While video generation tools may come prepackaged with ready-to-use AI voiceovers, none offer the customization options and control that Play.ht’s AI text-to-speech voice editor can provide.
NVIDIA Broadcast App’s Eye Contact Tool
Content creators can use this tool to ensure their eyes seem locked on the camera, even when they are reading from their script or looking elsewhere.
Capsho is an AI show notes generator. Content creators can upload their podcast audio files on Capsho, and the tool will automatically create show notes. It can suggest titles, lift and highlight quotes from the episode, create social captions, and even provide text content that can be adjusted and repurposed for other channels (e.g., website, email, and social media).
Enhance Speech by Adobe Podcast
Adobe Podcast’s Enhance Speech tool removes the need for expensive and extensive professional sound recording gear. Using AI, it cleans up audio and turns it into broadcast-ready content.
Content creators can clone their voices using Play.ht’s AI voice cloning tool. Voice cloning enables podcast hosts to create podcasts using the virtual likeness of their voice from a podcast script. They can also use other ready-to-use AI voices, which they can customize according to their requirements, to represent their co-hosts and guests.
Dubb is a tool that lets podcasters turn their audio files into video. Dubb extracts the text from audio files, creates transcripts, and adds AI-generated background animation to create videos.
Midjourney is a well-known text-to-image tool. Jason Allen used it to create the piece Space Opera Theater, which won the top prize in the Colorado State Fair’s Digital Arts/Digitally Manipulated Photography category. It is also the tool Pablo Xavier used to create the AI-generated image of the pope in a silvery white puffer jacket.
DALL·E is another text-to-image generative AI tool. Content creators can input detailed descriptions of the image they want, including the style required, and the tool will generate images that fit the text prompt.
This AI diffusion model image-generation tool generates photorealistic images from text prompts. It comes with advanced customization controls.
This tool provides advanced AI-assisted adjustment options. Content creators can replace the sky and adjust shadows, highlights, contrast, tone, saturation, exposure, and many other details. The automated options are great for beginners, and this tool can be a great addition to a fashion influencer’s toolbox.
AI Image Upscaler
This tool uses AI to upscale, enhance, or blow up images without losing image quality.
This powerful image-editing tool can be trained on a library of images a photographer has produced to learn that photographer’s editing style. This can speed up image post-processing for content creators.
GANimator is a motion synthesizer tool. Game developers can provide it with a single input sequence, and its AI engine will generate the novel movements required. This is useful for crowd movement simulation.
Hidden Door helps game developers turn a work of fiction into an immersive, role-playing, graphic novel game.
Play.ht’s advanced text-to-speech generation software can be used to create custom AI voices for game characters. Game developers can test out their script flow with AI voices or use AI voices for gaming localization.
Jasper is one of the most well-known options for creating content. It is a powerful tool that can let content writers create many types of content customized for framework, mode, and tone of voice. It has recipes and accepts commands, even voice commands.
CopyAI is an AI tool for copywriters. It can create website copy, social media posts, sales copy, digital ads, product descriptions, and long-form content.
Sudowrite can help content creators rewrite and repurpose existing content. This is a great idea generator for creative writers.
Use it to make blogs accessible to visually impaired site visitors and convert written content into audio content that publishers may distribute in other channels.
The Benefits and Limitations of Artificial Intelligence Tools for Creators
The marriage of AI and the creator economy isn’t perfect. AI provides many benefits, but it also has some limitations.
The Benefits of AI
The following are some of the benefits AI brings to the creator economy:
A Chance at Exposure
New content creators with zero following can get exposure through content distribution platforms’ recommendation engines.
Lower Barrier to Entry
Someone can start a podcast channel without needing expensive, professional-grade microphones. Someone can produce studio-quality, broadcast-ready audio using AI audio cleaners like Adobe’s Enhance Speech tool.
Adding voiceovers to characters no longer requires hours of video recording and post-processing work in a professional studio. One can use Play.ht’s AI voices.
Shorter Path Between Idea to Reality
A content creator can imagine virtually anything and get AI’s help in execution and rendering. With AI, for instance, one can create exciting backdrops and shoot in virtual locations.
More Breadth and Depth of Ideas
Content creators can use generative models to expound and expand on their simple ideas and improve their planning, execution, and direction. With AI’s help, content creators can create more complex and complicated content.
Creators can now use AI to make data-driven decisions. Creators can get AI’s assistance in identifying and formulating content ideas. With AI’s help, they can focus on content that the data says their sponsors and audience would like.
The Limitations of AI
For all its advantages, AI and the creator economy together do have some limitations:
It has been said many times before; ChatGPT bluffs and invents data. Image-generation tools do not produce perfect images, either.
The controversial Space Opera Theater, the Colorado State Fair’s winning piece by Jason Allen, had to undergo approximately 80 hours of work. It did not come out of Midjourney ready to submit or publish.
AI content and article generators, video generators, and photo and video-editing tools do not produce perfect output either. Content creators typically have to spend some time editing and adjusting their AI-rendered, manipulated, or augmented content.
AI learns and evolves from data. However, it is only as good as the data on which it has been trained. AI tools can assimilate its training data’s biases and falsehoods and integrate the same in the content it generates for a creator.
Subverting Creator-Community Relationships
Recommendation engines are great for content creators that wish to be discovered by an audience. However, they can also subvert the need and importance of building organic relationships between creators and their followers.
On the trend of distribution platforms turning more towards AI recommendation algorithms, the chief executive officer of Patreon, Jack Conte, had this to say in a TechCrunch interview, “We spent years investing in these platforms, building followers, building communities, and these changes remind us once again that these are not our followers, these are Facebook’s users.”
He says a platform exercising algorithmic curation “is mitigating the relationship between the creator and the subscriber” and that it is “giving the platform the power and the responsibility to decide what to send to whom, when.” This makes him angry, he claims, because he has spent “decades building communities on these platforms.”
AI: Fuelling the Growth of the Creator Economy
Content creation requires two essential things: creativity and technology. This is why AI and the creator economy are such a great mix.
The creator economy is content volume- and time-dependent. The speed of generating ideas and executing them plays a crucial role in ensuring a creator is profitable and can sustain his content-creation activities.
To attain this speed, content creators must generate and edit text, graphics that can be created with graphic makers, videos, audio, and other types of media to produce their content. Tech roadblocks can therefore keep amateur creators from reaching their full potential.
It is no wonder AI is disrupting the creator economy. AI makes content ideation, generation, and manipulation much easier for content creators. Making the creative process as simple as an iterative conversation with an AI model puts control over the creative process in the hands of content creators.
Play.ht is a powerful text-to-speech AI tool that lets you quickly and easily clone your voice, add voiceovers to game characters, give custom AI voices to virtual influencers, add voiceovers to video content, convert blogs into audio posts, and create podcast episodes in more than 130 languages.
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