Technical skills no longer have to be a barrier to flexing creativity.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is being incorporated into various jobs today to reduce human workload and increase productivity. One of the fields that AI is being used in today is creating art. We have already discussed how you can use the AI art generator DALL-E to make some memes. But, if you are looking for AI tools to help create content for your business, apps like Picsart might be a better choice.
To understand how Picsart is using AI to create art and helping entrepreneurs create content for their businesses, we spoke to Hovhannes Avoyan, the Founder and CEO of Picsart.
Picsart is a free online tool that businesses and content creators can use for photo and video editing. The Picsart app has been downloaded over a billion times today and has over 150 million monthly active creators on its platform. But the app wasn’t conceptualized to provide its services to this many people. Initially, Avoyan had created Picsart simply to help his daughter Zara sharpen her skills as an artist.
“She’d been bullied online after sharing some of her artwork, and I saw the opportunity and need for accessible editing software and a supportive community for creatives. That’s when I set out to build Picsart,” he explained. Instead of trying to market themselves solely to a professional user base, Picsart wanted to be all-inclusive. It wants to give people inspiration and support to display their full range of creative expression.
Picsart’s foray into AI
As we just mentioned, Picsart wants to give everyone the chance to be creative through powerful but easy-to-use tools. To that effect, the company has been actively creating new tools and incorporating AI into its software offerings to simplify the process of creating art. Picsart has had a deep focus on AI right from its inception, and in 2021, it launched its own AI research and development segment, Picsart AI Research (PAIR). Picsart has invested a lot of time and money into PAIR and introduced several AI-enabled tools, like AI-Generated Fonts, Remove Background tool, and VideoINR (a deep learning approach for video storage and streaming), in the past year.
In June this year, the company also introduced an AI enhancement tool that removes noise (the grainy texture) from pictures and improves overall image quality. “Looking ahead, we’ll continue to be guided by our goal for PAIR: to empower the next generation of creative expression through cutting-edge AI innovations,” Avoyan said.
But can AI really create art?
Despite all the money Avoyan and his company are investing in AI, the use of AI in creative expression brings up the question of whether we can even consider AI creations “art”. One of the most famous AI paintings “Edmond de Belamy, from La Famille de Belamy” has been bashed for being generic. When asked about his opinions on art, Avoyan said that we need to understand creative expression as a combination of technique and imagination. “AI can bridge the gap between them (technique and imagination), and help anyone turn their imagination into art, even if they lack the technical skills or artistic training to do so with traditional methods,” he added.
Avoyan is positive that AI incorporation into art is going to help artists. He mentioned that artists can use AI not only as a way to create art but also as a source of inspiration for their own art projects. “I don’t think it’s a debate about humans versus machines, but more about how a hybrid approach can unite the best of humans and technology.” He believes that AI will expand what it means to be an artist and give everyone a chance to practice their creativity.
How Picsart helps the creator economy
Picsart is a part of the over US$100 billion creator economy. As such, it supports creatives in growing their businesses. The company prides itself on creating a free-to-use platform. “Our role here [in the creator economy] is fundamentally rooted in democratizing access to the powerful creative capabilities that legacy software has historically gatekept,” Avoyan said.
In February, the company announced an application programming interface (API) program called “Picsart for Developers”. Under this program, creators or small businesses can use Picsart tools directly on multiple other platforms. “From the ability to make podcast covers to Etsy shop visuals, TikTok trends, branding, merch and beyond, Picsart makes creative technology readily available, so it’s easy to learn, create, post and product content,” Avoyan asserted.
As an entrepreneur himself, Avoyan is uniquely aware of the challenges that one might face in their entrepreneurial journey, particularly in the creative industry. He emphasized that creativity is like a muscle that needs to be constantly trained. “As a founder of five startups and as a CEO, I view the ability to be creative as one of my most important tools.” He added that being creative can help entrepreneurs come up with out-of-the-box ideas and embrace new challenges in stride.
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Header image courtesy of writer and Picsart’s website