Arts students need to ride AI wave to stay relevant: Kingston University professor
Losing jobs to automation is no more a news. People are preparing themselves, learning newer skills to stay relevant but according to Russell Miller, associate professor and course director at Kingston University, London, Artifical Intelligence (AI) is only going to provide more time for creative people to do what they are really good at — ideation and conceptualisation.
“Digital advancements have allowed distribution of work in innovative ways. When I started working as a website designer, I used to handcraft every page and then code it. It is not a very productive use of a creative person’s time. Now those projects have been automated. Increasing adoption of AI will free up more time for artists to work on ideas and concepts,” said Miller.
He also suggested that technology, especially the internet can play a huge role in reviving the Indian arts. “There are many websites and apps which align art, artist and the buyers. The internet has grown exponentially in India and it can open newer opportunities for Indian artists. Products like Shopify can give more visibility to Indian art and can popularise it,” said Miller who was on a visit to India recently for British Council’s UK Delhi exhibition.
Stating that the creative industry is still considered to be less intellectual, Miller added, “It was only in 1997 that the UK government realised that they have a creative industry and now the government is looking for $128 billion revenue by 2025. However, parents still prefer their children to have a more traditional pursuit like accountancy and law,” said he. Miller also teaches recently launched courses BA (honours) in art direction, BA (honours) curation, exhibition and events, BA (honours) creative and cultural industry at the Kingston University.
For art students to stay relevant, they need to be flexible with technology, according to Miller. “Through our new courses, we are trying to make arts graduate more employable by making them react to projects industry players. If students can react to different projects, have problem-solving capabilities they will have a sustainable creative career,” he said.
“I started my career by creating concepts on CDRom but within a couple of months, the technology was replaced. If I had stayed a CD Rom designer, I would have been out of the job. Flexibility and not being a narrow expert can make students have a lasting career in these rapidly changing times,” he said.