Keith Borshak, Creative Director

Is AI bad for Creativity?

Keith Borshak

Creative Director

I thought I would try a little experiment by utilizing ChatGPT to generate thoughts on AI and its impending impact on simple things like creative thought. A pretty broad brush, but bear with me.

I wanted AI to answer a question in which the very nature of the query would force AI to either A. defend the use of AI in creative pursuits or B. look at the subject from a more objective perspective. 

To my surprise, AI chose the latter.

Here was my question:
Is AI bad for Creativity?

There are two conflicting points of view, one negative and one positive. Here are the results.


Is AI bad for creativity?


The impact of AI on creativity is a topic of ongoing debate and exploration. Here are some perspectives on both sides:

Negative Effects of AI on Creativity

Dependency and Complacency: Some argue that relying too heavily on AI for creative tasks can lead to a dependency that stifles human creativity. If individuals become accustomed to AI generating ideas or solutions for them, they may become less inclined to think creatively themselves.
Standardization and Homogenization: AI algorithms are often trained on large datasets, which may reinforce existing norms or patterns in creative work. This could potentially lead to a homogenization of creative output, as AI systems may favor popular or mainstream trends over more innovative or unconventional ideas.
Loss of Human Touch: Creativity is often seen as a deeply human endeavor rooted in emotions, experiences, and intuition. Some worry that introducing AI into creative processes could diminish the personal, emotional, and human aspects of creative expression.

Positive Effects of AI on Creativity

Augmentation of Creativity: AI has the potential to augment human creativity by offering new tools, insights, and inspiration. For example, AI algorithms can analyze vast amounts of data to identify patterns or suggest novel ideas that humans may not have considered otherwise.
Efficiency and Productivity: AI can automate repetitive or time-consuming tasks, allowing creatives to focus more of their time and energy on the aspects of their work that require human ingenuity and imagination. This increased efficiency can free up mental space for experimentation and exploration.
Collaboration and Cross-Disciplinary Work: AI systems can facilitate collaboration between humans and machines, as well as between individuals with different skill sets and backgrounds. This interdisciplinary approach can lead to new perspectives, hybrid forms of creativity, and innovative solutions to complex problems.
In summary, the impact of AI on creativity is multifaceted and depends on various factors, including how it is implemented, the context in which it is used, and individual attitudes and approaches toward creativity. While AI has the potential to both enhance and challenge human creativity, the ultimate effects are likely to be shaped by the interactions between humans and machines in creative endeavors.

My Takeaway:

If you remember Jeff Goldblum’s line about reintroducing long-extinct dinosaurs in Jurassic Park:
“Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”
I’m feeling very much the same way about AI at the moment. The very first response to my question was regarding Dependency and Complacency. Amen, I thought, and good on ya, AI, for recognizing that the mere existence of AI-generated “creativity” really isn’t “creative at all. It’s simply a deep dive into large data sets that already exist and then an algorithm interprets findings. A little like self-driving cars, maybe. The intuition that it takes to be a safe driver of a car or airplane is something that comes from an internal knowledge base, not a database out there in the inter-webs waiting to be plucked and turned into an algorithm. (Again, reference the quote from Jurassic Park).
And it’s not lost on me that the first response based on an algorithm moved that particular negative point to the top of the list. My reason for having it there would be that just the possibility that AI may make us less curious, more lazy, or, in AI’s words, Complacent and Dependent, is enough to send me running in the other direction.  
Great creative solutions connect with people because they are created BY people, not data sets. So, let this short blog be a living example of how we may use this new technology and use it responsibly. Allow AI to handle the mundane, day-to-day tasks, but don’t rely on it to solve our creative opportunities.