UNESCO’s Create|2030 Talks - Artificial Intelligence: A New Working Environment for Creators?

When :

from Thursday 13 December, 2018
to Thursday 13 December, 2018

Type of event :

Special Event

Where :

UNESCO Headquarters, 7, Place de Fontenoy, 75007, Paris, France

By 2030, artificial intelligence (AI) is expected to increase global GDP by 14% – or by 15.7 thousand billion dollars – making it the most significant commercial opportunity in today’s economy (PWC 2017). Companies in Asia have already invested $39B in artificial intelligence. This technology promises to revolutionize our transportation, medicine, education, finance, defence and manufacturing. But, what impact will AI have on the creative sector?
The data that feeds AI machines is the fruit of human creativity, namely: songs, videos, texts and photographs. Today, this information is being used to create new cultural expressions: songs (AIVA, Amper), short stories (Sheherazade), film scripts (Benjamin) and paintings (CAN) – often to a surprisingly high standard. For the very first time, on 23-25 October 2018, Christie’s auctioned the painting "Edmond De Belamy," which depicts a fictional man created by an algorithm (Generative Adversarial Networks, known as GANs, which can study thousands of images and then produce one of its own) signed with a mathematical equation. These developments raise important questions about the status of artists, the integrity of the cultural value chain and the sector’s ability to continue providing decent jobs and fairly remunerate artists for their creative work. The public sector may lose its agency in the creative sector if it fails to adopt a targeted plan to address the rise and market concentration of large platforms or the lack of transparency in the collection and use of data generated for and by AI algorithms.

UNESCO adopted global guidelines on promoting the diversity of cultural expressions in the digital environment, which is increasingly dominated by AI. The guidelines provide a set of ethical standards and principles to address the impact of AI on creators, the cultural and creative industries and freedom of artistic expression. They will inspire policy makers as they prepare new national AI strategies and ensure that the creative sector is no longer an afterthought.