Even Adobe Employees Can See the Impact of AI on Designers and Creatives

Is Adobe cannibalizing its core customers to boost stock prices? Some employees are worried this.
Adobe hunting its customers

We all know not to bite the hand that feeds us. But is Adobe biting its customers by doubling down on AI? 

Some Adobe employees think so. 

Insider recently issued a report that discussed Adobe employees worried about its AI ambitions would lead to fewer creative and design jobs. The core of the company is built upon software for creatives.

But the lure of Wall Street riches means Adobe is going to lean into AI. Some of the highest-performing stocks this year are due to AI. Some companies are up 200-300% year-to-date. Adobe is up 57% from the beginning of 2023 to when I wrote this article. 

(Tech in general is up after a rough 2022, but AI-powered tech is performing really well right now).

The fact that even Adobe insiders are afraid graphic designers could lose their jobs should be a wake-up call to you. 

Watching Adobe sell out its core audience could open up white space for a competitor (and we all love white space). Adobe has dominated the design market for so long. I’m closing in on 30 years of using Adobe software for design.

Adobe has a community dedicated to Firefly where you can learn how to write better prompts. The big difference between Adobe’s generative AI and other systems like Midjourney and Dall-E is that Adobe’s AI is trained on content that Adobe owns. So in that way, Adobe is being more responsible regarding rights when training its model. 

On the other end of the spectrum is a design software company that understands its audience: Procreate. 

Procreate and AI

I was really impressed when Procreate tweeted this … sorry, Procreate Xed it (boy that’s dumb). It showed that the company understands its audience and wants to show loyalty. 

It’s probably just a matter of time until Adobe acquires Procreate to continue building its monopoly, but first, it has to finish its Figma acquisition. 

The bottom line is that Adobe employees are more concerned about your jobs and careers than Adobe itself. 

But it’s not all bad

Adobe has been training its AI capabilities on photography that it owns or has licensed. This is vastly different than other genAI platforms that learned by illegally scraping the Internet. 

What are you doing to prepare for the reduction in design jobs? 

Jim MacLeod

Jim MacLeod

Jim MacLeod was a graphic designer for more than a decade before pivoting to adjacent areas of focus such as marketing, digital experience, and branding. Knowing that AI is going to displace many graphic designers, Jim set up After Design to help designers prepare for this impending change. 

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