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A WORLD OF POSSIBILITIES: MERGING TECH WITH CULTURAL AND CREATIVE INDUSTRIES

Technology has always been the driving force for many changes and advancements across the world. The Cultural and Creative Industries now have the opportunity to leverage the use of technology to advance the output and quality of their goods and services. There is new technology that is making waves in various industries and it would be wise of creative entrepreneurs to capitalise on them.

The European Commission in 2021 did a report called Transforming the Creative and Cultural Industries with Advanced Technologies where they explored the use of technology in the CCIs. In the study they noted “Digitalisation has the capacity to transform processes of the creation, production, distribution and the consumption of content. Culture is increasingly accessed through dedicated platforms, applications, social media and aggregators and therefore has the capacity to benefit from the advancing of technology.”

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New Technologies and New Opportunities
According to the European Commission study “Creative industries have been mostly influenced by the advancements of specific technologies including Augmented & Virtual Reality (AR/VR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud and Blockchain technologies.”

Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality (AR) is described by the IBM as “technology that enhances user's perception of their surroundings by superimposing graphics and media on top of what they see in the real world” This technology involves the use of multimedia, 3D-Modelling, Real-time Tracking and Registration, Intelligent Interaction, Sensing and more.

In 2019, Jamaica had its first augmented reality mural hosted by Kingston Creative. Andrea Dempster Chung, Executive Director at Kingston Creative, commented on what the augmented mural experience was like, saying “The AR technology seen doesn’t just look pretty. It gives historical information about the cultural sites, plays music that relate to the space, and tells you about the artist.” This is only one such way augmented reality can be used in the creative industry.

Within the cultural sector AR can be used to enhance museums, cultural shows and the craft industry. These experiences facilitate engagement with content in new and innovative ways.

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Artificial Intelligence
IBM describes Artificial intelligence (AI) as “technology that leverages computers and machines to mimic the problem-solving and decision-making capabilities of the human mind.” According to The Economist, AI has the capacity to transform creative industries as well. AI has expanded into numerous creative fields such as art and music. Marcus De Sautoy, author of The Creative Code noted “I think all people believe AI does produce more of the same but I believe it is pushing boundaries and interestingly also helping individuals become less mechanical in their approach and more creative.”

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Opportunities and Threats
These are only a few of the major new technologies that are creating indelible impressions on various industries. There are other ways technology is advancing to serve various sectors, such as the use of cloud storage and blockchain technology.

Though the world of new technologies provides incredible opportunities for the advancements of the CCIs, there are a few threats especially in light of the nature of this industry.

Researcher Baptiste Caramiaux noted “AI challenges the creative value-chain in two ways: shifting services performed by humans to algorithms and empowering the individual creator.” Continuing, he said “AI-generated content challenges authorship, ownership and copyright infringement. New exclusive rights on datasets must be designed in order to better incentivise innovation and research.”

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Meta Data and Metaverse
Speaking of ownership, once the digital version of any work is released on the internet, it is available for public use. Creatives like artists, musicians, architects, photographers, and so on, must be mindful of this reality and begin to explore how Meta Data can be used to protect their work.

According to Steve Schlackman of Atrepreneur, “Metadata is a secondary, hidden, layer of descriptive information embedded into a digital file. Metadata can be attached to any file, and have extra information that is specific to that type of file. So a Word document may have a company or organization name, the network server name or document versions and revisions, while an mp3 music file may have the band information, song name, and even the CD cover image.”

The Metaverse is currently a buzz word as various investors and business persons are tapping into the world of this intriguing technology. The metaverse is described as “a rising set of new technology driven digital experiences that are taking place through devices driven by new cloud computing models, the internet and network connectivity. It is understood to be some form of virtual reality with a wide array of digital components. Individuals will be able to conduct meetings, to learn, play games, engage in social interactions, and more.”

The Metaverse is an interesting phenomenon and it is currently being explored for what it can offer to various sectors. Many creative professionals see how it will make waves for the CCIs. The Creative Review noted “The metaverse offers exciting possibilities, including the potential for more diverse access to the creative industries.”

The JBDC is now involved in the discussion about Meta Data and the Metaverse. On Monday, May 30, 2022, the agency hosted its hit forum JBDC ‘IN CONCERT’ under the theme Making ‘Cents’ of Meta. If you missed it, be sure to catch up on our YouTube Channel @JBDCJamaica.