Are Algorithms Killing Creativity?


Are Algorithms flattening culture? That’s what New Yorker writer Kyle Chayka argues in his new book Filterworld (Doubleday).  

He joined TV show creator Lucia Aniello (Hacks, Broad City) for a discussion with TBWA\Chiat\Day US CEO Erin Riley and TBWA Global Chief Strategy Officer Jen Costello for a discussion at Cannes about the impact that Algorithms—and the online sites that use them—are having on creativity. 

To a large extent, Chayka asserted, algorithms are moving millions, perhaps even billions of people around the world “toward the same aesthetic and culture.” 

Aniello agreed, noting that is one reason why word of mouth “is still incredibly important,” arguing that it helps new ideas and concepts break through. 

Asked how brands should deal with the homogenizing of culture, Chayka argued they should “have an audience in mind” and not just market to everyone.  

To some extent, he added, email newsletter hubs like Substack are a partial antidote in that people can interact without the “algorithmic feed” influencing the conversation.  

On the subject of AI Aniello said she wasn’t a big fan. Her mission is to connect with people and AI doesn’t help. “It takes the humanness out the art,” she said. 

Added Chayka: “AI is essentially automation. Culture can’t be automated that much. Do we really want a thousand shows spat out by Chat GPT?” 

Probably not.  


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