a16z Podcast

AI and the Creator Economy with Karen X Cheng

Steph Smith and Karen Cheng

Posted November 9, 2022

Generative AI tools like DALL-E, Midjourney, and Stable Diffusion have taken the world by storm in recent months, wowing the masses with their uncanny ability to produce images via text prompts.

In this interview, we’ll chat with Karen Cheng about how she’s leveraged these tools among others, with a focus on how this new paradigm is reshaping the creator landscape. You’ll get to hear the behind the scenes of many of her viral works, including a video of her becoming a lawnmower, her AI-generated Cosmo magazine cover, her DALL-E fashion show, her transforming iconic art into 3D museums to explore, and much, much more. By the end of this episode, listeners should have a better understanding of the new tools at their fingertips (literally!), how AI can indeed enhance the creative process, and the second-order effects of these innovations, like how creators are paid.

Since we’re just at the beginning of the AI era, this is just the beginning of our coverage as well.

Show Notes

00:00 – Intro

02:59 – Karen’s journey to content creator

06:32 – Creative unlocks for viral content

09:28 – The changing social media landscape

12:08 – Innovating with AI

14:59 – Unique AI tools available today

17:52 – How AI tools might differentiate

21:04 – Cosmo’s first AI-generated magazine cover

24:19 – Inpainting, outpainting, and the fungibility of artists

31:54 – AI enhancing the creative process

32:39 – The virality of optimism vs pessimism

38:19 – Turning attention into business

43:13 – IP and ownership in the age of AI

46:18 – The downward pricing pressure of AI

47:21 – Is generative AI still a gimmick?

53:32 – The adaptiveness of humans

58:26 – The importance of AI ethics