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AI chatbots already surpass average human in creativity, new study finds

A recent study suggests that large language model artificial intelligence chatbots excel beyond the average human in creative tasks. Only the best of us can outperform the machines.

AI chatbots are already better than the average human in tasks like brainstorming alternate uses for common items. This is a reflection of divergent thinking, traditionally assessed by tests requiring open-ended responses, a study published in the journal Scientific Reports said.

The rapid development of AI has resulted in generative chatbots that can produce high-quality artworks, raising questions about the differences between human and machine creativity.

To test the current state of affairs, the study authors – representing the University of Stavanger, the University of Bergen, and the University of Turku – compared the creativity of humans with that of three current AI chatbots (ChatGPT3, ChatGPT4, and Copy.Ai) using the alternate uses task.

Participants were asked to generate uncommon and creative uses for everyday objects – a rope, a box, a pencil, and a candle. On average, the AI chatbots outperformed human participants. While human responses included poor-quality ideas, the chatbots generally produced more creative responses, the study concluded.

However, the human responses had a far greater range – minimum scores were much lower than AI responses but the maximum scores were generally higher. The best human response outperformed each chatbot’s best response in seven out of eight scoring categories.

So while the study highlights the potential of AI as a tool to enhance creativity, it also “underscores the unique and complex nature of human creativity that may be difficult to fully replicate or surpass with AI technology,” the paper said.

This is why the authors propose that future research should also explore how AI can be integrated into the creative process to improve human performance, and not to replace it.

“Understanding how AI systems and humans interpret, understand, and articulate language could potentially bridge the gap between machine efficiency and human intuition,” the study said.

“As we move forward, it becomes imperative for future research to explore avenues where AI can be integrated to bolster and amplify human creativity, thereby fostering a close interaction between technology and human potential.”

The study suggests fears that AI will come after our jobs – even creative ones – are justified. In May, the jobs market report from the World Economic Forum said that businesses were anticipating that new AI technologies will destroy jobs faster than creating new ones over the next five years.

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