The pace and scale of content is intensifying as audiences lead brands onto more platforms and expect more relevant, even personalized, content. So, the ultimate doing-more-with-less scenario is the modern creative department. We’re creating exponentially more content in less time with the same or fewer people.

AI is critical to creative survival. We need to put this evolving tool to the right uses now so we can eliminate the tiny hurdles to individualization at scale. AI is reductive, derivative, duplicative, and repetitive so it should be used for those tasks that are those things. That means giving these 9 jobs to the algorithms.

Photo/video retouching

You don’t realize how much time you spend searching for images and fitting them into Photoshop until you put an AI plugin to work. I needed to replicate soft-focus foreground items in an ad, so I typed in “leather craft scraps” and got five appropriate, importable images in seconds. Estimated time savings: four hours. If I’d given the assignment to a retoucher, I’d have gotten, “Are you kidding me? I can’t make something out of nothing.” 

SEO/paid search headlines

Keyword combinations form an equation that’s ideal for search engines. AI is going to understand the latest Google algorithm better than any human—although there’s nothing more depressing to write. 

Pharma ads

The contra script doesn’t need a human. It’s even more tedious than SEO headlines, and all the information is available to AI. Let the engine create the B-roll disclosure footage too. 


Take a lesson from the resume pros who now use AI to get an editable draft. As much as 90% of an RFI is information, period. It’s draining to regurgitate the basics. Keep your energy for the 10% that’s really communicating your difference.

Media plans

AI can bring media planning up to code. We know people live in asynchronistic patterns yet we’re still grouping them by demographics and ZIP codes; and we’re still reporting basic consumer actions. Let the algorithms find the deeper interconnections. 


What’s in a contract, after all? It’s a simple agreement complicated by legalese. We hire people to do them because it’s draining and meant to be opaque. AI can do it faster and miss less. It can manage against one-sided-ness to make sure it’s equitable to both parties. That takes the emotional energy out of a clerical function, which is a good thing. 


It’s important (you might not want to show up next to Elon Musk) but it’s eye-watering for most of us because it’s complicated and tedious. AI can organize a series of repetitive tasks. Once you let it, you’ll be amazed you spent so much time on it before. 

Digital accessibility

Another important but time-consuming job. Ensuring readability of text and the attaching of relevant alt text to imagery is right in AI’s wheelhouse once it understands what to look for.


There’s more to comb through, and less time to do it. AI can gather all the studies and sources in a few instants. And you can program it to pick out the valuable pieces. That way you’re minding, not finding. 

The message is: Scale output, not input. Not only do we need to give people the power to produce more, but we also need to free them up to devote energy and time on things that require focused expertise. If you save your human insight, skill and time for the parts you need to create, you’ll make more compelling things. 

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