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‘AI can’t replace creativity yet’ Freelancer.com CEO says

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Creativity flourishes amidst changing landscape

In a recent statement, Matt Barrie, the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Freelancer.com, an Australia-based platform, emphasised that “AI can’t replace creativity yet.” The company has published a report, the Fast 50 Q2 2023, which unveils intriguing trends in the freelance job market.

The report, analysing over 280,000 jobs posted between April and June 2023, reveals a notable surge in various creative writing jobs, a growth in business marketing activities, and an increase in on-site photography and videography gigs.

The top five fastest-growing freelance jobs in Q2 2023 by percentage growth were:

  1. Creative Writing, which saw a 58% increase (from 1,868 to 2,961 jobs)
  2. User Interface Design, with a growth of 52% (from 2,017 to 3,075 jobs)
  3. Twitter Marketing, showing a rise of 41% (from 1,650 to 2,334 jobs)
  4. Photography, experiencing a 40% increase (from 2,101 to 2,945 jobs)
  5. Writing (Microsoft Word), growing by 38% (from 3,175 to 4,401 jobs)

Data analyzed by Freelancer.com’s data science team also revealed a rising interest in freelance writing jobs over the past quarter. Other writing-related skills, such as copy typing (up 31.2%, from 4,867 to 6,389 jobs) and ghostwriting (up 22.8%, from 5,212 to 6,404 jobs), also experienced significant growth.

Interestingly, despite the availability of generative AI tools, employers are increasingly turning to on-demand freelancers to create creative content for their websites and blogs.

Moreover, the report shows that even jobs that were once considered ‘at risk’ of being automated by AI, such as data entry, have seen an increase over the quarter. Data Processing projects were up by 21% (from 9,076 to 11,024 jobs), and projects requiring Excel skills also saw a 15% increase (from 13,246 to 15,301 total job postings).

Barrie acknowledged that while generative AI offers productivity gains, it has yet to replace creative work. The data suggests that creative design jobs, for instance, continue to flourish despite the interest in generative AI.

The report also highlights a notable trend where businesses are heavily investing in freelance marketing support.

On the other hand, the Q2 2023 report indicates a decline in interest for tech and IT-related skills. In contrast, the Q3 2022 Fast 50 report had shown significant growth in specialised and niche tech skills like software development, android app development, and programming. This shift in demand may be attributed to global mass layoffs and hiring freezes in the tech sector in late 2022.

Barrie believes that the nature of work will undergo a dramatic change in an AI-dominated world. He explained that jobs would move up the stack, and traditional roles may transform into higher-level functions. For instance, illustrators may evolve to become more like cinematographers, directors, composers, or producers, while writers may transition into editors or sub-editors, directing AI tools like ChatGPT to perform at a higher level.


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