Technological progress and increased efficiency often lead to changes in productivity, which can result in unemployment. According to a report by Chinese media outlet Time Finance on April 3, some game companies are using AI painting to alleviate financial anxiety and talent pressure.
On March 2, Huang Yimeng, founder of XD Inc., revealed on social media that there were game companies that had cut their outsourcing concept artists team. He wrote, “AI has actually begun to affect many people’s jobs.”
A source who serves as technical director at a game art outsourcing company revealed that over the past month, his company has laid off half of its concept artists. “Concept artists using Al can complete plans with an efficiency increase of at least 50%. The decreasing demand from clients was quickly consumed. The company will not keep idle workers; those concept artists with no work to do can only be ‘optimized.’ Previously, our company needed 38 concept artists but now we’ve already laid off 20 employees.”
The impact on game concept artists is mainly from ControlNet, a tool released in February this year.
Based on this tool, Stable Diffusion AI drawing software can more accurately depict human posture and intricate three-dimensional structures. Additionally, users can make adjustments to image details, effectively resolving previous issues with limb details in AI drawing.
For companies, increasingly sophisticated AI drawing technology will undoubtedly greatly improve efficiency and even replace some concept artist positions to some extent.
With the emergence of more powerful generative AI models such as GPT-4, positions outside the field of fine arts are facing a growing threat of being replaced by AI in the foreseeable future.
According to a recent research report from Goldman Sachs, innovative technologies like ChatGPT are expected to cause significant disruption in global labor markets. It is estimated that around 300 million job positions worldwide will be replaced by generative AI, with lawyers and administrative staff being the most vulnerable positions for layoffs.