Will AI Supercharge Ideation?
OpenAI released ChatGPD at the end of 2022 and everything changed
What was my experience? I found that as someone who is naturally inclined to ideate but has trouble structuring, reiterating and executing - being given access to Openai was a game changer already - and you could tell that you were seeing a technology in its infancy.
There is no doubt in my mind that AI has the potential to revolutionise the way we approach ideation, providing a powerful tool for idea development and refinement. AI is not yet capable of generating ideas in the same way a human can, nonetheless In 2 short months it has become an indispensable tool for ideation, providing information, expanding on ideas, and helping to evaluate and refine concepts. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at the ways in which I think AI has supercharged ideation and why it's just the beginning of a new era where ideas and the process of ideation becomes more important and more valuable.
Here are the things I have found when using AI that relate to idea creation:
Structure - Framework for idea development - One of the key benefits of AI in ideation is its ability to help you structure your thoughts. Ideation can often be a chaotic, non-linear process, but with AI's help, you can create order from the chaos. AI can help you put your ideas in order, consolidate them, and refine them, making it easier to develop and communicate your ideas. For example you can ask AI to put your text in order rather than reading and moving information manually.
Course correction - AI can steer you in a better direction particularly when you’ve based your initial thinking on flawed assumptions. In this case you have an opportunity to pivot your idea and move in a new direction.
A safe space - AI does not judge yet ;) - so no matter how crazy your ideas - here is a safe space for you to share your ideas, write your ideas and get feedback. Even for extraverts like me sharing ideas is time consuming, unreliable, I normally have to ration which ideas I share with who (people don’t like being overwhelmed) whereas AI is always there (as long as you have access) and does not get tired of you.
Brainstorming, matching, associative thinking can lead to idea generation, although it may not be capable of original thought it does find correlated information. This could be as simple as writing something down and asking AI to find 10 options (and then 10 more:) and these prompt you to explore
Enabling exploration and Serendipity leading to unexpected New journeys, connects you to new topics you didn’t expect when you started. This is what comes from the interaction between human and machine, Sometimes this is just because AI didn’t know what you mean, it writes a couple of paragraphs on a topic tangential to where you were heading and this can be something you didn’t think of.
Enables you to probe and the act of probing promotes idea creation, sometimes the probing can be frustrating and you need to try different questions to get to the nub of the problem you’re working on but probing for ideas definitely feels like it leads me to new ideas and better ideas.
Fast-tracking research and validation (or invalidation) - although if you’re idea is original, I don’t buy for a minute that your ideas are not original, some are borrowed, some are inspired some are parallel to others but every human has the ability to generate original thought but sometimes your thinking fails to account for something fundamental that invalidates the whole notion. You can start by testing - “Who has had this idea before?” and see if it can it be validated or invalidated quickly and easily or what road blocks did they encounter?Once invalidated you can put this aside and move on or validate it and keep exploring
Speed - Accelerated iterations, you can think faster and learn faster with AI - there is no doubt that AI lets you explore ideas faster. But it also moves the ideator faster towards curation - establishing patterns of curation - curation is the act of either keeping or discarding. This speed is a combination of factors including: - Acceleration of learning improves the quality of ideation creating a feedback loop, - Faster validation and reiteration, - Gets you more quickly to curation
Stimulation and Propulsion of ideas - This is one of the more interesting parts of this thesis (to me anyway): There is something about AI that is a nudge, I can’t quite work it out, I think it may be the vibe haha, I think it’s the combination of all of these things that I have mentioned, it becomes more normal that it was before to create thoughts, test new ideas. AI is a stimulant for a curious mind. And we’re only just getting warmed up, my experience to date uses a general chat AI - we can tune AI system for ideation in the future.
Release of more time for ideation - Less time fixing grammar and syntax, more time for thinking
Where it fails: currently there is a strong possibility some of the meaning or impact of your thinking may be lost - AI tries to bring things it doesn’t understand back to something that is more familiar and so either misses something unique and new or loses the nuance to give you a generic description - for example when I was making a point about each generation thinking it is superior to the last and chatgpt took me to something about learning from history - was related but not exactly the direction I was going - but I’m looking forward to the technology that will help refine but keep the nuance, it seems very possible that this can be achieved soon.
In conclusion, AI has supercharged ideation in countless ways, providing a powerful tool for idea development and refinement. From structure to course correction, and from general propulsion to a safe space, AI has made ideation more effective, efficient, and enjoyable. And with continued advancements in AI technology, the best is yet to come.