Adobe and TED explore the bold future of creativity and gen AI

TED 2024.

Image credit: Gilberto Tadday.

In an inaugural partnership, Adobe is teaming with TED this week to share its vision for the future of creativity and design with its transformative generative AI technology.

“We are thrilled to partner with TED and be a part of the 40th anniversary of their founding,” said Amit Singh, senior director of Global Brand Partnerships at Adobe. “We are deeply committed to the design community. Our goal is to leverage creativity and technology to help bring dreams to life. We are honored to be the exclusive Design Partner of TED2024, and a part of the extraordinary TED community.”

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design — and Adobe has always been a leader in each of those categories. TED is also known for presenting new ideas and innovative research in a way most people can consume and understand. It’s a goal that syncs with Adobe’s aim to democratize creativity, to allow all creators across tech, science, entertainment, education, and other fields to learn about and embrace generative AI with its ground-breaking possibilities for creativity.

“At TED2024, we're celebrating the bold and the brilliant with Talks and exhibits on everything from cutting-edge AI to boundless creativity," said Jay Herratti, CEO of TED. "TED's collaboration with Adobe is designed to explore how we can harness the power of AI to propel design forward, and we're excited they're a part of this year's event."

While generative AI is reshaping creativity and design, offering designers new ways to unleash their inner creators, these new models of machine intelligence are also raising questions about how humans will interact with them now and in the future.

Spotlight conversation: “The New Paradigm of Creativity”

Scott Belsky, chief strategy officer and EVP, Design & Emerging Products at Adobe, talked with Debbie Millman of the Design Matters podcast and Honor Harger, director of the ArtScience Museum in Singapore, about generative AI and its impact on design and creativity.

A person speaking to a group of people at TED ADOBE.

Debbie Millman (left), Honor Harger and Scott Belsky discuss how generative AI is reshaping creativity and design. Image credit: Gilberto Tadday.

The panel agreed that AI isn’t meant to replace human creativity, but rather augment and accelerate it. “The best work comes from the person working together with the AI,” Harger said. “It’s us, with the machines, creating.”

Belsky said AI is both involving more people in creativity and expanding what’s possible. “Everyone has ideas that they want to do,” he said. “The access to these tools to express ideas has been democratized. That’s a wonderful thing. That means there will be so many more creators in the future.”

At the same time, AI is raising the bar on what skilled creatives can accomplish. Customers tell Adobe that with AI, “instead of having the three-day cycle to explore three options, I can explore 30 or 300 and find a better solution to my problem,” Belsky said. That means there will be more jobs for creatives, because they will produce more value. “When you can get more ROI [return on investment] from a person on your team, you actually want to hire more people.”

While AI is a powerful new tool, it won’t fundamentally change what drives creativity, Millman said. “One thing will always be an imperative for artists and designers and that is the act of creating, of making something,” she said. “How they make it is up in the air and people can do things in a lot of different ways, but I don’t think anything can ever take away from the act of making and creating.”

Adobe Dream Bigger Lounge

With a larger-than-life presence at the conference via its Dream Bigger Lounge, Adobe will be connecting to TED attendees and sparking conversations about the future of creativity with an experiential, signature space.

The fully custom, lounge provides a meaningful experience for attendees in three main ways:

A large group of people in a room at TED ADOBE

TED2024 attendees wrap around the Adobe Dream Bigger Lounge. Image credit: Ryan Lash.

The emphasis is on what is possible tomorrow, not just today. Attendees will get a glimpse into what’s happening behind the scenes as Adobe technologists who are building future AI tools demonstrate how they will come to life.

“We’re in an unprecedented time where technology is changing daily," said Brooke Hopper, principal designer at Adobe. “Generative AI is allowing us to create at a speed and pace that we have never been able to before. And Adobe is providing tools at your fingertips to change what you’re making into exactly what you want to create — in that exact moment.”


Adobe Dream Bigger Lounge. Image credit: Jason Redmond.


Brooke Hopper, Adobe’s Principal Designer, talks to TED2024 attendees about the future of creativity and generative AI in Adobe’s signature Dream Bigger Lounge. Image credit: Jasmina Tomic.

The Adobe lounge features “Living Artwork,” a 10-by-10-foot LED wall with constantly changing art that’s designed to immerse the attendees and spark conversation and creativity. The lounge’s goal is to provoke and stimulate exchanges about the potential role of generative AI for anyone in any field.

“We want to have some of those human conversations at TED,” Hopper added. “We want to talk to people about how Adobe is approaching this new technology and age of creativity in unique-to-Adobe, human-centered ways.”

The Dream Bigger Lounge also showcases “Firefly Community Art” to present the breadth of work from the collective minds in the creative community.

The Adobe lounge shows the results of using generative AI to remove time-consuming tasks, and thus elevate people’s creative efforts: “Instead of mundane work, it allows your brain to focus instead on more creative problem-solving,” said Michael Jarrott, Adobe’s creative director. “In the end, it’s the creator’s vision that truly matters and that’s what our tools support — they allow you to harness your vision.”