Reflecting on cultural labour in the time of AI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With generative AI disrupting human monopoly of creativity, there is an urgent need to freshly rearticulate cultural labour as a marker of human creativity. I suggest we critically revisit the existing perspectives of cultural labour in cultural policy discussion (unproductive, creative and precarious labour) to reflect on their limitations and implications for our understanding of AI’s challenges. Based on this, I argue that we should expand the discussion of precarious labour to elaborate the emerging ‘creative precarity’. In particular, I will explore its key dimensions – the increasing uncertainty in terms of cultural workers’ creative roles, rights and identity, and audience responses – and their policy implications. At the core of potential policy response to and our research into creative precarity, there are fundamental questions of how we redefine cultural work in the time of AI, what new meanings we can attach to cultural labour, what constitutes the human-ness in human creativity and why it crucially matters.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMedia Culture & Society
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • AI
  • Cultural labour
  • Creativity
  • Copyright
  • Cultural work
  • Cultural policy
  • Cultural industries
  • Media industries
  • Cultural workers
  • Generative AI
  • AI creativity
  • AI art
  • Creative labour
  • Artists and AI
  • Meta-creativity
  • Audience and AI


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