The glorious potential of “what if”

what if

By Mark Schaefer

I recently had the opportunity to interview Glenn Gainor, president of Sony Pictures Innovation Studios, for a special episode of the long-running podcast series I do for Dell called Luminaries. He made an interesting point about the future of content and creativity.

He said that in the past, the most dreaded phrase in the creative process was “what if?”

Asking “what if” could grind a creative process to a halt, derail a deadline, and take the air out of the room. Working within the unrelenting time constraints of a movie schedule, there just was not much room left for exploring new creative paths in the middle of production.

The age of “what if”

He told me that the greatest gift of technology — and particularly artificial intelligence — is the ability to explore “what if” at any place and any time. Specifically, he was telling me about technology that can digitize an entire movie set, allowing a director to play with different ideas even if that set doesn’t exist any more in the real world.

While this technology seems out of reach of the lone content creator, you can look around and see how tech has facilitated almost every aspect of the what we do in the creative process.

When the web started, the only content option accessible to many businesses was blogging. It still took a lot of specialized and expensive equipment to make a video, infographic, or podcast.

Today, infinite creative expressions are available in the palm of your hand. For free.

Thinking this through, the age of “what if” is on its way for everybody.

AI will free our time and free our minds.

More complex and difficult processes will be streamlined and made accessible for all — even the tech only used by movie studios today. We’ll all be able to indulge our “what if” moments!

The creative breakthrough

Naturally, many of the tech discussions today focus on privacy abuses, fake news, and ethical implications of progress. But we are also on the cusp of an exciting creative revolution.

“Technological advancements will allow us to tell any story,” Glenn said.  “It is the realization of the creative dream. If we can imagine it, we can do it.”

Eventually, we all will!

Keynote speaker Mark SchaeferMark Schaefer is the chief blogger for this site, executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions, and the author of several best-selling digital marketing books. He is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant.  The Marketing Companion podcast is among the top business podcasts in the world. Contact Mark to have him speak to your company event or conference soon.

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