Putting the creative power of ChatGPT to the test

Pulse Issue 1 2023

"Putting the creative power of ChatGPT to the test"

“AI will not take over creativity. AI is simply a tool which, when used together with human creativity and imagination, can produce powerful outcomes”. ChatGPT March 2023

The rapid evolution of AI apps such as ChatGPT, are already starting to shift the way we work.

But can a robot ever really replace a real person? Particularly when it comes to creativity, could a robot ever replicate our wonderful entanglement of emotions, experience and imagination?

Can they really produce the kind of creativity that sparks our interests, stirs our emotions and changes our behaviour?

Recently in Australia, an AI created image won a photo competition, which had the photography world up in arms and the AI creators brimming with pride – they’d ‘fooled the judges’ with an image that wasn’t real, against the work of other photographers that was. They promptly returned the $100 prize (high stakes indeed!) and then stood on their soapbox, proclaiming “We’re at a point now where Machine may be the superior creator to Man.”1

That is a big call. Or is duping the judges of a $100 photo competition the definitive sign that machines have finally overtaken us?

That said, there is no denying the winning image is very ‘nice’. I too may have awarded it $100. But haven’t we all seen thousands of that type of image, better or worse, on a simple Google search? Throw in some Photoshop retouching and I could have won that money!

Then it got me questioning, ‘what have they actually created here?’

It seems the ‘creative’ part is not the image itself, but the idea of submitting it to the competition in the first place – and generating the millions of dollars in PR as a result – and that still comes from human thinking.

AI didn’t come up with the idea to enter the contest. It didn’t come up with the idea to do a drone beach shot. It didn’t create its own fake name and then bank – or return – the winnings. A human did all that.

So, what is it about AI and the creative process that will change the world?

I sat down for a heart-to-robot chat, to get to the bottom of how AI might help my work, and see just how good it was coming up with simple ideas.

The below is a verbatim transcript of our conversation, that started with the question on everyone’s lips:

Hello ChatGPT, do you identify as a he, she or someone else?
ChatGPT identifies as neither male nor female but as a robot.

Is it ok if I call you Mr. Roboto* then?
Sure, that is fine.

Domo Arigato Mr Roboto! I have a few questions about creativity… is that cool?
Yes, that sounds great. I’m ready to answer any questions you have.

Firstly, will AI take over creativity?
No, AI will not take over creativity. AI is simply a tool which, when used together with human creativity and imagination, can produce powerful outcomes. 

Great answer! Where can AI most help in the creative process?
AI can most help the creative process by providing insights and data which would otherwise be overlooked by any one individual creative. Through its ability to capture, process and analyse vast amounts of data and information, AI can enhance creativity and help to create unique and innovative solutions. 

Can you give me an example of AI’s ability to create a marketing message?
For example, AI could analyse customer demographic information to understand what drives customer behaviour in order to create a highly targeted, personalised marketing message that leads to increased engagement and conversions. 

Will it generate an image to go with the words?
Yes, AI is able to generate images to accompany a message. AI algorithms can analyse data from customer demographics to analyse customer behaviour and generate an appropriate, targeted image to accompany the message.

Ok, let’s do a little creative test! Please write 5 headline examples for an oral drug that stops headaches… let’s call it ACHE-TIVE!

1. Get Relief with ACHE-TIVE
2. Find Fast Relief with ACHE-TIVE
3. Stop Headaches Now with ACHE-TIVE
4. ACHE-TIVE: The Cure for Headache Woes
5. Reap the Benefits of ACHE-TIVE for Headache Relief

Wow, that’s impressive! ACHE-TIVE is aimed at active women? Can you describe 3 images that would go with those headlines?

1. A woman playing sports with her friends, happily engaged in the game.  
2. A woman in an office, enjoying her work and feeling energized by her work.
3. A woman out shopping, feeling excited and relieved to not have to deal with headache pain. 

These image descriptions leave me a bit flat. Could you go a little more exciting and unpredictable with the images? I want real cut-through!

  1. A woman roller skating, feeling energized and headaches forgotten.  
  2. A woman jumping in a pile of leaves, determined to enjoy the fall season despite the headache. 
  3. A woman dancing in a nightclub, forgetting all her worries even as the headache lingers.  

Can you include a celebrity endorsement? And choose an appropriate celebrity?
Yes, AI can be used to create an image with a celebrity endorsement. A suitable celebrity could be chosen depending on the target demographic and the type of message the brand is trying to send – for instance a young, active woman could be associated with a fitness or wellness celebrity such as Kayla Itsines.

I’ll have to Google her… But how about a sports personality? Can you suggest 5 options?
Yes, a sportsperson could also be utilised for the celebrity endorsement. Five potential celebrities with a strong presence in the sports or fitness industry could be: 
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
2. Serena Williams
3. LeBron James
4. Lionel Messi
5. Novak Djokovic

They might be a little out of my budget! And I’m not sure why you chose 4 men when ACHE-TIVE is aimed at women? But please write 3 headlines for Novak Djokovic to endorse the pill ‘ACHE-TIVE ‘.

1. Novak Djokovic Teams Up with ACHE-TIVE to Support Headache Sufferers
2. Novak Djokovic: Tennis Star and ACHE-TIVE Team Up to Help Stop Headaches
3. Novak Djokovic’s Grassroots Effort: ACHE-TIVE Partners With Champion to Help Relieve Headaches

Please write a headline that reflect Novak’s refusal to vaccinate against Covid 19 with the ACHE-TIVE endorsement?
Novak Djokovic Teams Up with ACHE-TIVE to Support Headache Sufferers Even Amid Rejecting Covid-19 Vaccine Protocols.

So there we have it! A Headline option for Novak to endorse a new drug launch for my headache pill ACHE-TIVE!

I think we can all see that it needs some (a lot!) of work. If I was to present a headline this basic to any client, they would in no uncertain terms ask me to think again. Yet for all it lacks in originality, engagement, cut-through and succinctness, what it did do was:

  1. Help me through my creative process, by providing me with some solid ‘starting points’;
  2. Suggested a plethora of options and directions I could pursue;
  3. Helped me filter and refine my creative choices;
  4. Helped ignite my own creative thinking in response;
  5. Provided exactly what it said it would…  ‘a tool which, when used together with human creativity and imagination, can produce powerful outcomes.’;

Perhaps most importantly, it did all the above in seconds, saving me valuable time and grind work. The speed and efficiency – delivering 5 headlines in less that 25 seconds is amazing in anyone’s book!

I was hoping that when I prompted the anti-vax angle it might have dished up a few more adventurous alternatives, something like: ‘Novak faults on Covid vaccine, but never on headaches’ or even ‘He’s game to risk Covid, but not a headache’

But that’s my job!  And I know they’re not exactly brilliant headlines either, but maybe that will be resolved with another collaborative session with Mr. Roboto, who told me, ‘with time and practice, I can definitely start to better understand your questions and develop predictive insights to come up with new and innovative ideas.’

As an example of its intuitive learning, I asked: What does the phrase ‘Domo Arigato Mr Roboto’ mean to you?
*Domo Arigato Mr Roboto is a phrase that suggests politeness and respect. It could be seen as a way of thanking someone for their help or showing appreciation for a job being done, expressing appreciation for someone’s assistance.

Thank you! Great answer… does it remind you of anything else?
Yes, Domo Arigato Mr Roboto is a lyric from the 1982 hit song by the rock band STYX. The song is about a robot who is on a quest to experience life and find its purpose. The song has a powerful message of open-mindedness and encouragement to find one’s purpose in life.

With answers like that, I’m prepared to give Mr. Roboto a more regular role in my creative process – not in terms of coming up with the kind of ideas that our clients expect me to deliver daily – but as a ‘sounding board’ that understands me, delivers options I can easily discard or explore further.

So rather than being scared ChatGPT will take over our jobs, maybe we should embrace their kind as useful tools that can help us bring out our creative best.

A creative collaboration that comes in record speed, without complaint, and with perfect spelling and attention to detail is all part of the creative power AI could welcomingly add to my role… and the fact it shares my love of obscure 80’s tracks is a bonus.

1: AI generated image wins Australian photo comp. 7 February 2023

 Simon Davies
M: 0402 425 545

 Bruce Williams
M: 0407 359 582


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