A recent study shows AI chatbots may surpass average human in divergent thinking tasks, such as suggesting alternative uses for everyday items. However, top-performing humans still outdo the best chatbot performance.
AI chatbots might outperform humans in creativity
The study published in Scientific Reports suggests that large language model (LLM) AI chatbots might overshadow the average human in creative tasks. These tasks often revolve around brainstorming alternative applications for common items. This form of thinking, known as divergent thinking, is highly associated with creativity. However, the study also emphasizes that individuals who scored the highest still outshine the top-performing chatbot results.
The authors of the study, Mika Koivisto and Simone Grassini, carried out a comparison of the responses given by 256 human participants and three AI chatbots in the Alternate Uses Task (AUT). In this task, participants are prompted to come up with as many alternative uses as possible for a given object within a limited time. The four objects used were a rope, a box, a pencil, and a candle. The responses were then evaluated based on their originality and creativity.
Chatbots score higher in semantic distance and creativity
The outcomes of these tasks were evaluated based on semantic distance and creativity. The semantic distance, which measures how closely the response is related to the object's original use, was quantified using a computational method. The level of creativity was determined by human evaluators, who were unaware of the origin of the responses. The chatbot-generated responses on average scored higher in both aspects compared to the human responses.
Potential for AI integration in human creative process
The findings of the study suggest that AI chatbots are now capable of generating creative ideas comparable to the average human. However, the authors emphasize that the results are limited to the performance in a single task linked to the assessment of creativity. They propose that further research could delve into the potential of integrating AI into the creative process to improve human performance.