Sun. Oct 1st, 2023
    Generative AI in Fashion: A Peek into the Future of Work

    The rise of generative AI has led to concerns about job loss and the displacement of professionals in various industries. However, a recent report by McKinsey & Company suggests that while some job positions may be impacted, certain occupational categories could continue to grow through 2030. This indicates that generative AI is not a harbinger of an apocalyptic job market, but rather a glimpse into a new world of work.

    Generative AI, which simulates human intelligence using AI models, has already shown its power in the fashion industry by automating tasks that were previously done by professionals. While there are fears of being replaced by humanoid supercomputers, the reality is that generative AI still requires human support to function effectively.

    One approach that combines AI capabilities with human oversight is the “human-in-the-loop” model. This model allows humans to provide feedback, monitor the technology’s performance, and ensure its correct functioning. According to Sean Boyle, co-founder of Unitmode, incorporating human influence is crucial for the success of AI.

    In the fashion industry, where aesthetics and personal touch are essential, it is unlikely that efficiency and automation will be completely shunned. Companies like Stitchfix have already implemented AI in their operations, blending algorithms, machine learning, and stylist insight to deliver personalized shopping experiences. This type of human intervention will likely become more widespread in the industry to ensure positive and responsible outcomes, as generative AI on its own has had instances of producing undesirable results.

    Besides the human-in-the-loop approach, other roles related to generative AI in fashion may emerge. “AI fashion designer” is an intriguing possibility, but legal implications surrounding intellectual property rights need to be addressed first. AI systems require existing images, text, and information to produce meaningful outputs, potentially raising copyright concerns. As a result, companies may seek AI ethics officers and specialists to guide them in implementing AI responsibly and ethically.

    Despite the complexities of integrating AI in the fashion industry, experts emphasize the importance of embracing AI to stay competitive. Creating internal policies, training programs, licensing agreements, and fostering trust will be crucial in effectively adopting AI technologies.

    As the horizon of AI expands, new job opportunities will likely arise. Trends such as hiring AI renderings of models for campaigns may lead to a demand for AI management roles. Geraldine Wharry, a futurist trend forecaster, notes that we have only scratched the surface of what AI can offer, suggesting that the new economy of jobs is yet to fully unfold.

    Overall, generative AI in fashion presents both challenges and opportunities. While automation may impact certain job positions, the industry can adapt by upskilling workers, redefining job scopes, and ensuring human oversight. The integration of AI and human expertise can lead to a more efficient and innovative fashion industry, where responsible AI development and deployment are prioritized.

    – McKinsey & Company report
    – Sean Boyle, co-founder of Unitmode
    – Geraldine Wharry, futurist trend forecaster
    – Business of Fashion interview with Anthony Lupo, attorney at ArentFox Schiff