Extractive summaries and key takeaways from the articles curated from TOP TEN BUSINESS MAGAZINES to promote informed business decision-making | Week 304 | July 7-13, 2023
How Generative AI Can Augment Human Creativity
Use it to promote divergent thinking.
By Tojin T. Eapen et al., | Harvard Business Review Magazine | July–August 2023 Issue
There is tremendous apprehension about the potential of generative AI—technologies that can create new content such as audio, text, images, and video—to replace people in many jobs. But one of the biggest opportunities generative AI offers to businesses and governments is to augment human creativity and overcome the challenges of democratizing innovation. Based on their experience and research the authors suggest the following five ways on how AI can augment the creativity of employees and customers and help them generate and identify novel ideas—and improve the quality of raw ideas.
- Promote Divergent Thinking. Generative AI can support divergent thinking by making associations among remote concepts and producing ideas drawn from them. Apps such as Midjourney and Stable Difusion, a text-to-image algorithm that can detect analogical resemblances between images, can generate novel product designs based on textual prompts from a human. Rapidly and inexpensively producing a plethora of designs in this way allows a company to evaluate a wide range of product concepts quickly.
- Challenge Expertise Bias. During the early stages of new-product development, atypical designs created by generative AI can inspire designers to think beyond their preconceptions of what is possible or desirable in a product in terms of both form and function. This approach can lead to solutions that humans might never have imagined using a traditional approach, where the functions are determined first and the form is then designed to accommodate them. These inputs can help overcome biases such as design fixation (an overreliance on standard design forms), functional fixedness (a lack of ability to imagine a use beyond the traditional one), and the Einstellung effect, where individuals’ previous experiences impede them from considering new ways to solve problems.
- Assist in Idea Evaluation. Generative AI tools can assist in other aspects of the front end of innovation, including by increasing the specificity of ideas and by evaluating ideas, and sometimes combining them.
- Support Idea Refinement. Generative AI tools can solve an important challenge faced in idea contests: combining or merging a large number of ideas to produce much stronger ones.
- Facilitate Collaboration with and Among Users. When developing new product ideas or designs, generative AI can facilitate collaborations between a company’s designers and users of a prospective product and among users themselves. In other words, the technology makes co-creation of new offerings much easier and less expensive.
3 key takeaways from the article
- There is tremendous apprehension about the potential of generative AI—technologies that can create new content such as audio, text, images, and video—to replace people in many jobs. But one of the biggest opportunities generative AI offers to businesses and governments is to augment human creativity and overcome the challenges of democratizing innovation.
- AI can augment the creativity of employees and customers and help them generate and identify novel ideas—and improve the quality of raw ideas in the following five ways (to begin with): promote divergent thinking, challenge expertise bias, assist in idea evaluation, support idea refinement, and facilitate collaboration with and among users.
- Generative AI’s greatest potential is not replacing humans; it is to assist humans in their individual and collective efforts to create hitherto unimaginable solutions. It can truly democratize innovation.
Topics: Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Creativity