“Death of creative software”? Future. Thoughts?

“I’m calling it. Creative software is dead. It’s the end of an era.

Creative software 1.0 was about separating specific tasks into domains. Vector graphics, NLE, motion graphics, image editing, 3D, audio editing, compositing, etc. are highly specialized fields.

Fields that when combined correctly, can bring a great idea to life. In 1.0, you were pushing pixels, drawing squares on a screen, moving tracks in a timeline, and recreating how light bounces on surfaces to predict a beam’s reflection.

It was brute force creativity. There is a name for each of those disciplines, and you are limited by the knowledge and experience of mastering a tool.

In Creative Software 2.0, machines push the pixels. Machines draw. We direct. We create with machines that can create anything. Constraints come from a lack of imagination, not from a lack of specialized knowledge. The most successful creators will be the most imaginative.

2.0 is about executing great ideas with models that understand the world. Models are responsible for simulating the world, generating what we ask for. We are curators. We are all directors.

A generation of software is dead. It’s the end of an era but the beginning of a much more exciting one.”

— CEO Runway ML

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OK, I’ll help you write your college essay :smiling_imp:

I’m going to assume we’re mainly concerned here with creative music software. This argument falls down in multiple areas:

you are limited by the knowledge and experience of mastering a tool
The “tool” in this case would be something like Cubase. Nobody who creates music is limited in any way by any software tool, but of course the specific ability to perform a given task may indeed be limited by that tool, in which case, one simply chooses or creates another tool.

We create with machines that can create anything
A great marketing line, but essentially of no value, as it cannot be proven that a machine could ever be created that would be capable of creating anything asked of it, i.e. everything you ask for. If machines were to be able to create any thing, then it would have to be possible for some machine to create every thing.

Constraints come from a lack of imagination, not from a lack of specialized knowledge
This effectively contradicts the earlier statement “you are limited by the knowledge and experience of mastering a tool”. So which are we limited by, a lack of imagination, or a lack of knowledge and experience? Which of these limitations is mitigated by machine learning?

The most successful creators will be the most imaginative
The most successful creators have always been the most imaginative. Who first blew air through a hollowed-out bone, and put holes in the side to change the pitch of the tone? Has the amount of truly great, timeless music created increased in tandem with the astonishing developments in creative music software in the last 50 years? Why not? Could it be due to a lack of imagination, and could that lack of imagination not equally be a limitation to the use of AI-based music software?

Models are responsible for simulating the world, generating what we ask for
It’s the “what we ask for” bit which is crucial here. Any software developer will have stories about what a client asked for, as opposed to what the client actually wanted. Should a machine ever exist that has the capability to “create anything” based on “what we ask for”, it will surely be end times.

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