How do emerging technologies affect the creative economy?

Research suggests some ways artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality, and blockchain are reshaping creative work.

New technologies are reshaping the way we live and work, and their effects naturally touch the creative economy—art, journalism, music, and more. As artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality, virtual reality (VR), and blockchain continue to emerge as powerful forces, could they be used to greater benefit?

Our paper, Creative Disruption: The impact of emerging technologies on the creative economy, presents the findings of a joint project, conducted by McKinsey & Company and the World Economic Forum, which studied the impact of these technologies on the creative economy. The project team conducted more than 50 interviews with experts from Asia, Europe, and North America, as well as three workshops in China and the United States with World Economic Forum constituents. Given the varying maturity of the different technologies, it is too early to state definitively how they will change the creative economy. Instead, our paper outlines opportunities and concerns for each technology and presents suggestions for where attention could be concentrated. The rest of this article, extracted from the full report, summarizes some of our key findings.

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