Skip to main content
  1. Posts/

How Artists Make Technology Better

·392 words

beautiful, simple, black and white line art drawing of pokemon playing electric guitars, standing in the spotlight of a red Luxo Jr. desk lamp.

Technology has these incredible moments. Moments when a new tech meets a creative idea—and something just clicks.

Those moments fascinate me.

Think about the electric guitar. Musicians were playing them for decades before Jimi Hendrix took the stage at Woodstock and began to play “The Star Spangled Banner.” Four minutes later, he’d created a moment in music history—and the electric guitar went from an experimental instrument to a cultural icon.

Or animation. Computers could create 3D renderings of objects for a long time before the team at Pixar started telling stories. Toy Story was the first movie that was entirely animated by computers. And it changed things forever. Now, in Avatar: The Way of Water, nearly all of the sea shots are digital.

In the summer of 2016, Niantic, Inc. released Pokémon Go. Augmented reality had been around for a while, but it was this game that pulled so many outside by combining AR with GPS and a captivating, playable experience. Yes, you’re experimenting with a new technology. But, it’s more than that.

Here’s the truth. Tech alone, no matter how revolutionary, isn’t enough.

But when great tech meets great creativity, something magical happens. When you give people a reason to care—a song, a story, a game—you’re giving them an invitation to your innovation.

Here’s the exciting part. These creative interactions make the tech better. Because when you introduce creative individuals to a new tech, they start to play with it. Push the boundaries of it. Try new, creative ideas. They break and subvert it. They suggest improvements. And, you get the user base you need to improve it.

We often pit logic and creativity against each other–art vs. science. But I think that’s the wrong way to think about tech. Tech needs creativity to reach its full potential.

And it’s happening again, right in front of our eyes.

We’re in the middle of a revolution in creative technology. We can chat with AI. Make songs, images, and videos from only a short description of our ideas. These new machine learning models are fundamentally shifting the creative landscape, and we’re seeing all kinds of cool ideas as a result.

But has that creative breakthrough happened yet? The moment that captures your imagination? The one that makes you dream about the possibilities?

I don’t think so. But, it’s coming. And I can’t wait.