All analogies are flawed, but some are useful.
Language-based AI is like Photoshop for the rest of us. 🖥️💃⚡
Hear me out… (less than 2-minute read)
In the world of graphic design, there was a time when only the most skilled designers could create high-quality visuals. It required many years of training and was a time-consuming manual craft.
But then, a tool emerged that changed everything — Photoshop. Suddenly, everyone with a computer could create stunning graphics, and the speed of production increased exponentially. This tool democratised the craft of design, making it accessible to the masses.
Adobe’s Creative Cloud approached 30 million paid subscribers last December. 🤯
However, despite this democratisation, not all designers were suddenly equal, nor will they ever be. Just as it is with many types of skills and tools — equal access doesn’t guarantee equal performance, let alone greatness.
But wait, there’s more to this analogy. 🤓
Photoshop was more than just a tool for making graphics. It also enabled designers to experiment with new techniques (that in the wrong hands scream “photoshop”), create unique styles, and push the boundaries of what was possible in design. And they still use real-world materials and inspiration.
Do designers have to keep up with the evolution of Photoshop? Most of them do. Or you can find your comfort zone and stay there. But unless you’re amazing, it comes at a price. Or you can decide you’re a 100% old-school craft artisan or let someone else import your work into Photoshop. There are implications for that too.
The arrival of AI in knowledge work is like Photoshop for the rest of us. AI is transforming the way knowledge workers operate, automating tasks we didn’t think could be automated, speeding things up exponentially, and providing new possibilities previously impossible.
But like with Photoshop, AI still requires human expertise to use effectively.
You are the designer, not AI.
Education, talent, and hard work still count. Hard work beats talent sometimes, but only up to a degree.
The power of AI lies in the hands of those willing to keep learning and adapting to the technology. But just because you have access to AI tools doesn’t make you a master of your field.
And downloading a pirated copy of Photoshop doesn’t make your nephew a top-tier graphic designer.
But maybe he could help you with that lost dog ad or retouch your dating photos.
Speaking of which, have you tried using it for job applications? It’s a game-changer. 😅
Finally, word processors that can actually process words.
But that’s another analogy…