Canva Germany boss: Germans are not creative and therefore love AI
“Creativity will mean something different in the future,” says Alexander Brix, who is responsible for the German market as Country Manager at Canva. We spoke to him about the impact of generative AI on creativity. The reason was a newly published study on the topic.
Before joining Canva, Brix was COO at the Viennese AI company Kaleido AI, which at the time offered automatic background removal for photos. In 2021, the company was acquired by the Australian graphic design company Canva – and with it Brix.
Canva and KI
Canva has been working on artificial intelligence for a long time. In March 2023, the company launched its “Magic” series, whose tools allow users to edit photos and create new content using generative AI. These AI tools were very well received in Germany. (…) Interestingly, Germans react much more strongly to AI news and feature releases than in other markets,” says Brix and immediately has an explanation ready: “Many Germans love efficiency. At the same time, they are not considered particularly creative. AI can fill the gaps here.”
Artificial intelligence is currently helping in particular to move from an idea to a design. The idea would still come from people. Brix therefore sees AI as a tool that promotes creativity rather than inhibiting it.
New study: AI in the creative sector
His assessment is confirmed by a Morning Consult study commissioned by Canva itself, for which more than 4,000 international marketing and creative managers were surveyed about their attitude towards generative AI (including 503 Germans). According to this, 71 percent of those surveyed say that generative AI increases the creativity of their team.
96 percent of marketing and creative leaders welcome the rise of generative AI, with 75 percent already considering it an essential part of their creative toolkit. In the marketing sector, AI is now used, for example, to create mood boards or A/B tests. With just a few clicks, marketing professionals can visualize their idea or have different versions of a text or posting created.
How does AI influence creativity?
According to Brix, AI will significantly change the way we work together and creatively in the future. He says: “Creativity will mean something different in the future.” This has already happened in the past. As an example, he cites the Remove.bg function, the background removal function that was originally launched by Kaleido and is now part of the Canvas image editing platform.
Brix explains: “When Remove.bg was launched, many designers were afraid of losing their jobs. Because back then they were often paid to remove the backgrounds from photos. But now it’s the case that these designers are using AI Tools like Remove.bg can do a lot more high-quality work, for which they can charge more, than for boring and repetitive tasks that no one wants to do anyway.” This view is also shared by the majority of the study participants at 78 percent.
Biggest concern is data protection
But there are also critical voices in the survey. In Germany, three out of four respondents have concerns about the protection of customer, company and personal data – even against job loss, plagiarism and distortions. 73 percent are of the opinion that marketers and creative people are too dependent on AI.
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61 percent of companies have already responded to these concerns with guidelines for the use of generative AI.
AI ecosystem: fragmented and complex
In addition to the concerns mentioned, two-thirds (71 percent) of study participants say there are already too many generative AI tools, with 67 percent overwhelmed by the learning curve. 58 percent feel pressured to use AI tools to keep up with change. 47 percent say they can’t yet say how they can get the most benefit from the technology.
To address this, Canva is currently working on grouping various AI tools under one roof and becoming a “one-stop shop” for creatives. “We want to cover the entire range that you need to be able to express yourself visually,” says Brix.
Canva was founded in 2013 with a mission to democratize design and make it accessible to everyone. Around 135 million people worldwide now create their social media posts, birthday cards or presentation templates with Canva every month – around ten percent of them (14 million) are paying customers.
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