The two-day event – held in Downtown LA this year – was back in person after a two-year online hiatus… and, of course, the biggest topic was AI.
AI is impacting every industry, but especially those who work in digital art, photo and video.
“Look, the creative industry is in turmoil in a lot of ways… and I think on the one hand it’s scary for a lot of people, but I see it as really exciting,” said Will Hall, Chief Creative Officer at GoodWork.
“I think as creative people we need to lean into that and not be afraid that the old way of doing is no longer going to be the way forward,” said Hall.
He’s one of thousands who attended this year’s conference.
“Adobe Max is the world’s largest creativity conference, so it’s all about getting anyone who has a story to tell the tools and technology they need,” said Stacy Martinet of Adobe.
The folks behind Photoshop are working to make their creation tools more accessible thanks to AI.
“It can do quick commands on tasks that would usually take hours, remove background, move these stray hairs out, you type it, you press a button and done,” explained Martinet.
I got a demo of the new and improved Adobe Express, which is a free suite of design tools anyone can access on the web instantly. It’s Adobe’s answer to Canva, and yes, it includes a heavy dose of AI.
“We’re really bringing the best of Adobe to these apps… You can create a video, Instagram post for your social media content, a school report, anything you can imagine, you can do it with Adobe Express,” said Ian Wang, head of product for Adobe Express.
Adobe’s AI model is called Firefly and now, it’s more powerful. It can generate images, replace parts of photos, create text and even design documents like a garage sale flyer.
“What makes Firefly very distinctive [is that] we very much respect content rights and all of this is commercially safe,” explained Wang.
On the show floor, Adobe Max is full of demos, fun experiences and lots of creative types sharing stories and information.
“It’s an exciting time to be a creative and while AI can be a little intimidating and scary, I think human creativity is what is like driving this technology. We just have to keep the human touch in everything we do,” said Patrice Berry, a digital content creator with a Northern California nonprofit.
“I think this is a great time for the younger generation to really jump ahead of everybody else… they’re brand new they’re more adapted than we are and really learn how to use this tool to the best of its abilities,” said creative professional Elbin Shin.
We might not know where AI will take us, but the journey will certainly be an interesting one.