Despite all perceptions, there is not a spark of creativity in artificial intelligence. It’s all statistical algorithms sipping data from sources created by humans somewhere along the line. It will never be a source of innovation, but will serve to increase human innovation.
“AI will not come up with fundamentally new ideas on its own; However, there are ways in which AI can support people in this,” according to a recent study by the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute.
In this context, AI serves as a liberating force. “Among AI’s many abilities to enhance human creativity, most notably is its ability to relieve us of monotonous tasks such as searching for information and freeing up more time for stimulating activities that can lead to new ideas,” emphasizes the author of the Study, Jan Bieser. “AI can also take on more creative tasks, identifying patterns in data that humans would not have found. AI doesn’t just take on time-consuming tasks; it could provide insights that humans would never have thought of.”
However, AI’s ability to support innovation is limited. “AI cannot support all of the human skills that are essential for generating ideas, such as B. real observations or personal interactions,” says Bieser. “Furthermore, exploration without a specific outcome in mind, adding new areas of knowledge on the go, and improvisation are challenges for the AI. For example, a tool that optimizes flight routes in terms of CO2 emissions would not simply suggest switching to rail transport or video conference meetings.”
Industry experts agree that innovation is not possible through AI alone – and maybe never will. But the potential is there. “Care must be taken to fully rely on the AI for all tasks,” says Andy Thurai, an analyst at Constellation Research. “At this point, AI is not yet reliable, biased in many ways, not very explainable, and not very accurate in many areas.”
While AI “may not currently be able to innovate things on its own, using AI support can definitely assist humans in mundane, repeatable, high-volume tasks and enable humans to think creatively,” Thurai points out. Start with basic data processing. “The current volume of data exceeds human imagination. For data quality, data mining and pattern recognition with current amounts of data, humans will take an enormous amount of time to find this out. AI can help in these areas so humans can focus on applying these patterns to identify potential solutions.”
There are other compelling examples of AI-powered innovation in action. “Drug discovery with different chemical combinations and studies can be accelerated with AI,” says Thurai. “As the development of Covid vaccines has shown, we do not have to wait for the traditional decades to develop a vaccine, but can be done much more quickly using AI.” Another example of sophisticated innovation would be the sequencing of the human genome without AI has been near impossible, Thurai adds. “This allows us to learn so much about each individual and find a cure that can be individualized, rather than mass treatment with common drugs that may or may not work.”
To empower human innovators with AI, Bieser makes the following recommendations:
Use AI where there is an obvious advantage. This applies to “tasks where it is clearly superior to humans and where the benefits of humans in carrying out the activity do not outweigh the benefits of automation, such as searching through large literature libraries,” says Bieser. Target AI applications “that support the skills and activities essential to ideation. For example, since humans are better at exploring without a specific outcome in mind, AI tools should allow humans to interactively explore data and quickly develop, test, and refine hypotheses.” Make use of the time AI saves. “This should be delegated to activities that are critical to generating new ideas,” says Bieser. “This requires targeted action; Otherwise, digital technology could tempt us to spend too much time on non-creative pursuits.” Follow me on Twitter.
I am an author, independent researcher and speaker covering information technology innovations, trends and markets. I co-chaired the AI Summit in 2021 and 2022 and have also attended the IEEE International Conference on Edge Computing and the International SOA and Cloud Symposium Series. I am also co-author of the SOA Manifesto, which outlines the values and guiding principles of service orientation in business and IT. I also regularly contribute to Harvard Business Review and CNET on topics shaping careers in business and technology.
Much of my research is affiliated with Forbes Insights and Unisphere Research/ Information Today, Inc. and covers topics such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, digital transformation, and big data analytics.
In a previous life, I was the communications and research manager for the Administrative Management Society (AMS), an international professional association dedicated to advancing knowledge in the fields of IT and business management. I am a graduate of Temple University.
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