Now AI is outperforming humans when it comes to creativity

Artificial Intelligence gains another win over humans, as a new study suggests it can have ‘creative thought.’

In a study conducted by PhD students at the University of Arkansas, 151 people were pitted against ChatGPT-4 with the aim of measuring divergent thinking.

This is often thought to be a sign of creativity and imagination, as it involves a thought process that is used to generate ideas and explore possible solutions to a concrete or abstract issue.

In the study, the multimodal language model created by OpenAI was found to provide more ‘original and elaborate answers than the human participants.’

The first take involved people coming up with creative uses for everyday objects (like a fork or rope). The second called the Consequences Task, asked people (and their AI counterparts) to imagine the outcomes of a made-up situation. The third, named the Divergent Associations Task, required 10 nouns that are as ‘semantically distant as possible.’

Researchers then looked at the length of response and semantic difference between words. The ChatGPT-4 model was found to be ‘more original and elaborate than humans on each of the divergent thinking tasks, even when controlling for fluency of responses.’

While the full insight into AI’s creativity hasn’t yet been extensively looked at, this study marks one of the first in the exploration of its capabilities.

Researchers have some ‘caveats’

Conducted by Kent F. Hubert, Kim N. Awa, and Darya L. Zabelina, the students have explained that some caution should be exercised.

In a press release published on the University of Arkansas’s website last Friday (March. 1), the authors say: “It is important to note that the measures used in this study are all measures of creative potential, but the involvement in creative activities or achievements are another aspect of measuring a person’s creativity…

“AI, unlike humans, does not have agency,” and is “dependent on the assistance of a human user. Therefore, the creative potential of AI is in a constant state of stagnation unless promoted.

Sophie Atkinson

Freelance Writer

Sophie Atkinson is a UK-based journalist and content writer, as well as a founder of a content agency which focuses on storytelling through social media marketing. She kicked off her career with a Print Futures Award which champions young talent working in print, paper and publishing. Heading straight into a regional newsroom, after graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in Journalism, Sophie started by working for Reach PLC. Now, with five years experience in journalism and many more in content marketing, Sophie works as a freelance writer and marketer. Her areas of specialty span a wide range, including technology, business, marketing, and finance.

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Sophie Atkinson