AI and creative development: Rocket fuel for human creativity?

Rocket fuel for human creativity? ๐Ÿš€๐Ÿ’ก
Hear me out…

I have spent most of my career leading teams in the quest for breakthrough solutions (and searching for them myself). The typical process combines two approaches: quality-dominated development of “new stuff” and quantity-dominated curation of “existing stuff”.

1. Quantity dominated: curating numerous references to existing stuff in the hope of discovering inspiration or direction. Mood boards and best-practice research both work that way. This approach is cheaper, faster, and less demanding. However, this approach might not result in the desired breakthrough due to its dependence on previously explored concepts.

2. Quality dominated: developing fewer bespoke things that have not existed before. Think of a quality storyboard/draft/wireframe or even good scamps. It is slower and requires creation and iteration, mindfully mining opportunity spaces. It’s quite resource-intensive (time, money, energy, attention, people) to reach even a rudimentary prototype.  

Typically, you start in quantity mode and progress to quality, then alternate between the two. ๐Ÿ”„

Enter a third, hybrid mode of strategic creative development, which has an interesting “serendipity acceleration” effect. This the agile-adaptive approach that AI unlocks. It mixes our original ideas with a vast field of references (wider than any human can hold in their head). 
It can start at either end and can rapidly move to the other:

– Quality to quantity: You develop a significant bespoke seed and feed it to an LLM, trained on existing references, to rapidly generate new results for you to iterate. ๐Ÿ’กโžก๏ธ๐ŸŒ
– Quantity to quality: you use prompts to generate a large number of starting points which, in the absence of bespoke seeds, gravitate more towards the existing references, but take a “quantity is quality” approach and select the best of those to develop and craft further. ๐ŸŒโžก๏ธ๐Ÿ’ก

Note how the typical shift between divergence and convergence thinking, crucial to success, becomes faster and more cost-effective.

The third mode cultivates a dynamic and responsive creative process. It’s like rocket-fuel for serendipity, turbocharging the creative journey and maximizing the chances of finding that elusive ‘Eureka!’ moment. By leveraging human-machine collaboration, this approach accelerates not only serendipitous discoveries but also enables rapid generation, iteration, and refinement of ideas, making it easier for creatives to reach “terminal velocity” in their pursuit of breakthroughs, all while reducing the cost and time required.

It’s already happening, don’t get left out.

Version 1.5 of โ€œThe Scepticโ€™s Guide to ChatGPTโ€ is out.

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