Artificial intelligence, augmented/virtual reality and blockchain are changing the way the content is produced, distributed and consumed.
The impacts are not just changing the creative economy, but society as a whole.
Creative Disruption through emerging technologies
This paper presents the findings of a joint project, conducted by the World Economic Forum and McKinsey & Company, which studied the impact of emerging technologies – artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality and blockchain – on the creative economy.
Given the varying maturity of the different technologies, it is too early to definitively state how they will change the creative economy.
The key findings are:
Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing value chains for creative content from start to finish, which is having positive and negative impacts on society.
- AR and VR – immersive technologies – can dramatically alter the experience of content consumption. As the cost of immersive technology decreases, creators are enabled to redefine storytelling and narrative content in an entirely new medium. Given that immersive technology has the potential to be more engaging and capture more intimate personal data from users, there are risks that the business incentives of developing immersive media may run counter to practices that protect individual well-being.
- The creative economy and the platform economy are converging, redefining the relationship between creators, publishers and technology companies, and introducing difficult governance issues. Publishers can use technology to expand audiences, but technology platforms – companies that match businesses with customers – also have a large impact on the way content is discovered. As platforms become more involved in editorial decisions (influencing and deciding what type of content is seen and why), publishers’ accountability moves towards technology platforms. Frameworks for governing this new dynamic are not yet sufficiently developed.
- Blockchain is the least advanced of all the technologies – while it holds promise for the creative economy, it requires further development. There are reasons to be excited by the adoption of emerging technologies in the creative economy, but also some negative implications that are worth considering.