In a groundbreaking study, artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots have emerged as formidable contenders in the realm of creativity, surpassing the average human in certain creative thinking tasks. The research, recently published in the esteemed journal Scientific Reports, sheds light on the potential of large language model (LLM) AI chatbots to excel in divergent thinking, particularly in the realm of generating alternative uses for everyday objects.
Unveiling the Power of AI
Divergent thinking, often synonymous with creativity, centers on the ability to generate a multitude of diverse ideas or solutions for a given task. To evaluate this aspect of cognitive prowess, researchers employed the Alternate Uses Task (AUT). In this task, participants were challenged to brainstorm as many alternative uses for commonplace objects as possible within a limited timeframe. The responses were meticulously assessed based on four critical dimensions: fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration.
Human vs. AI: The Ultimate Showdown
The study, conducted by Mika Koivisto and Simone Grassini, involved 256 human participants and pitted their creative abilities against those of three AI chatbots, namely ChatGPT3, ChatGPT4, and Copy.Ai. The objects under scrutiny were a rope, a box, a pencil, and a candle. The evaluation criteria included measuring the originality of responses in terms of semantic distance, i.e., how closely the response was related to the object’s primary purpose, and assessing creativity.
A two-pronged approach was adopted for quantifying semantic distance, utilizing a scale ranging from 0 to 2. Additionally, human evaluators, unaware of the origin of the responses, subjectively rated creativity on a scale of 1 to 5. Astonishingly, on average, the AI chatbot-generated responses outperformed their human counterparts, scoring significantly higher for both semantic distance (0.95 vs. 0.91) and creativity (2.91 vs. 2.47).
The Range of Human Potential
While the AI chatbots exhibited impressive prowess in creativity, the human responses displayed a more extensive range. The human responses showcased lower minimum scores but compensated for this with notably higher maximum scores. Remarkably, the best human response outperformed each chatbot’s finest response in seven out of eight scoring categories.
The Future of AI in Creativity
These findings are a testament to the remarkable capabilities of AI chatbots in generating creative ideas, positioning them on par with the average human mind. However, it’s important to note that this study focused solely on a single task associated with creativity assessment. The authors envision future research endeavors that delve deeper into the integration of AI into the creative process, with the aim of enhancing human performance.
This groundbreaking study was made possible through the generous funding provided by the University of Bergen.
Reference: “Best humans still outperform artificial intelligence in a creative divergent thinking task” by Mika Koivisto and Simone Grassini, published on September 14, 2023, in Scientific Reports. DOI: [10.1038/s41598-023-40858-3].