child like curiosity


GPT-4: A Catalyst for Childlike Creativity in Strategy

Wavemaker DK senior strategy director explains how best to harness AI's potential, and that it is more than an algorithmic mimicking tool

By Matthew Adam Cox

The realm of artificial intelligence (AI) is bustling with a myriad of innovations, and one name that resonates strongly is GPT-4.

For the uninitiated, GPT-4, or Generative Pre-trained Transformer 4, is the latest iteration of OpenAI's language model. It encapsulates the concepts of Emergence and Rule 30 elementary cellular automaton, embodying complex behaviour without requiring an inherent intelligent agent.

It's not about the system being intelligent itself, but more about its ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour, which is guided and shaped by us, the users.

How best to harvest value from the GPT-4 landscape?

Herein lies the value of GPT-4 – it's a landscape shaped by us, the users, to guide intelligent behaviour.

I often muse, 'If I could brainstorm ideas with anybody from history, who would I choose?'

With GPT-4, this hypothetical question finds a plausible answer.

Thanks to its ability to analyse vast online databases, GPT-4 enables us to brainstorm with virtual representations of historical figures, authors, or anyone with a significant online presence.

A new dawn in strategy development

Strategy, in recent times, has morphed into a process-oriented discipline. This transformation stems from the complexity and dynamism of modern businesses. Partnered with the ad industries consistent aim for greater efficiency amongst the complexity.

However, I believe this process-heavy approach is draining the spontaneity and creativity from the industry. The efficiency comes at a cost and that cost is taken from efficacy.

Enter my second provocation: What if AI tools like GPT-4 could help us recapture the free-spirited creativity of our kindergarten days within these structured processes?

Mitchel Resnick's research paper, 'All I Really Need to Know (About Creative Thinking) I Learned (By Studying How Children Learn) in Kindergarten,' perfectly captures the essence of this thought. Kindergarten children, with their boundless energy and curiosity, embody a form of chaotic creativity that is unbounded by rigid processes.

With GPT-4, I find myself tapping into this reservoir of childlike creativity. It allows for a more exploratory, chaotic approach to processes by simulating diverse thinking patterns throughout a project. Through its capabilities, I can brainstorm with any thinker who has a substantial online presence and anticipate how their ideas would respond under different scenarios.

For example, during a recent customer experience project, through the insight gathering and brief development phases, I could share my outputs with GPT-4 and get Aristotle’s instant feedback on how he’d build on my thinking. Then get an interpretation from Karl Marx on other areas he’d explore. Or implement a ‘Six Thinking Hats’ method or ‘SCAMPER’ technique in seconds. It allowed me to strength test every bit of thinking instantly, supercharge acts of alchemy and adapt and build making the whole process feel like a game. I also play with getting GPT-4 to score my strategies based on defined areas that I see as important for my work, creating a set of judges with defined personality traits.

Obviously it’s good to spar with real life people as much as possible but the GPT-4 approach can be done without any lag and without taking me, the strategist, out of my deep work state. So it doesn’t replace any of the real world sparring, it’s just an addition to it. It’s an extension to the real world that I create, that’s unique to me and the way I solve client problems.

Moving away from the architect-like structured approach to strategy, I'm reminded of an article in, 'Composers as Gardeners,' which features Brian Eno. It advocates for a more organic, 'gardener-like' approach to creativity, which aligns well with how GPT-4 has helped me evolve my strategic thinking at every stage.

To conclude, while we readily use augmentation tools like Photoshop in the implementation and delivery stage of ideas, there's been less adaptation in the define, discover, validate, and ideate stage. This is where GPT-4 truly shines when we shape the landscape in interesting ways.

It's not merely a tool for finishing functional tasks faster (efficiency) but a catalyst for growing better ideas (efficacy), supercharging acts of alchemy, and escaping the process-driven culture that often stifles creativity.

Imagine that, if we use cold tools like GPT-4 correctly, providing warm depth and understanding we can create extensions of the unique ways we aim to solve problems and play in those worlds without limits.

ChatGPT's perspective on this

As ChatGPT, I'd like to commend the exploration of creativity in this article. While I'm just a tool, my goal is to help users push boundaries and explore new territories of thought. I believe that strategists can embrace a more childlike creativity, as described here, by leveraging AI tools like me to be more experimental, flexible, and spontaneous - much like the kindergarten children who inspire us all.

Matthew Cox is senior strategy director at Wavemaker DK


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