Everyone’s worried about AI’s effect on our performance. Will it take away our ability to create? Or will it simply create for us while we get lazy? This is unlikely. Although AI is a transformative innovation, it’s far from capable of possessing the human traits that lead to pure creative thought. On the contrary, I believe it’s removing one of the biggest barriers to tapping into our imagination: stuff.
Not fun stuff. Work stuff—mundane tasks like weekly reports, safety briefings and compliance training. Ask anyone why they can’t create, and they’ll probably say it’s because of all the boring things chewing up their brain space. Fortunately, AI can help solve this by removing obstacles and helping unleash ingenious thinking. Will it take jobs in the process? Certainly. But for all the jobs removed, more are likely to pop up. Remember fax machines? When the Telex operator at our company saw the fax machine, she immediately thought, “I’m out of a job.” She was right … and wrong. We found another job for her so she could continue being productive in a different way.
AI provides the invaluable gift of time, alleviating a primary hurdle in our path to innovative thinking: the lack of time to contemplate and create. This newfound time, formerly spent on routine tasks, can be channeled into tapping into our imagination, fostering a conducive environment for creativity and innovation.
You don’t need to be scared that AI will somehow destroy creativity. High tech enables high-touch work. For example, thanks to big data, Disney (where I used to work) invented the MagicBand. Disney Parks guests could use their bands in many ways, including as room keys. Interestingly, MagicBands were “designed to help Disney cast members anticipate all your desires so they can give you an incredible experience.”
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