In a world of technology, is human creativity still relevant?

02 Aug 2023 06:01pm
Photo for illustration purposes only
Photo for illustration purposes only

We live in a complex time, where automation does us both good and bad. But as the world continues to progress through technology, is human creativity still relevant?

Let’s put it this way. Creativity is not about arts, or aesthetics per se. It’s a skill that only the human mind can comprehend. It enables empathy and nurtures problem-solving skills.

In an interview with a creative leader, Nick Law who is the creative chairperson for a tech-powered creative organisation called Accenture Song, said that creativity is the engine of human progress.

“It’s the act of imagining something new and then figuring out how to make it,” he said.

When it’s all about automation, it takes away process-oriented tasks. A simple example would be the media industry. With the AI takeover, news and articles can be written by this tool, but how do you tell stories that connect with people? That needs human creativity and out-of-the-box mindset.

Simplicity and empathetic creativity are both crucial for businesses to thrive these days. But what is the correlation?

“No company exists without customers. To keep and get more customers, you must provide messages, products and services that they value.

“If you’re making something that only you understand and like – it’s therapy, not creativity.

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Being relevant is an exercise in empathy. It’s when you’re able to imagine what other people will find useful and interesting.

“This requires a broad and deep empathy that considers all the dimensions of relevance – industry trends and best practices, new enabling technologies, and the cultural forces the customer is dealing with,” said.

How can companies foster a culture of creativity within their organisation?

Law said to be creative, you need a collaborative culture with a singular vision.

Accenture Song creative chairperson Nick Law.
Accenture Song creative chairperson Nick Law.

A connected world demands connected capabilities. Companies should reverse engineer everything from the customer experience – and that experience has never been more connected.

If they are siloed and don’t integrate their capabilities, then the creative output will be complicated and disconnected.

“New ideas come from connecting existing ideas. They mix vertical knowledge with horizontal exploration. This requires looking beyond the obvious, asking questions and being unreasonable. You need to be loose and intuitive.

“The last mile of a great idea is execution. This is when you go from asking questions to making decisions, from broad exploration to a narrow focus on craft. You need to be tight and disciplined. Companies foster creativity by doing both,” he said.

Is AI a risk to creativity?

Well, AI is a risk to mundane creativity, said Law.

With AI, it will make average work so easy and inexpensive that there will be infinite mediocrity, and AI will automate almost all of this.

But Law added that the best work will still have the intuitive and unpredictable fingerprints of a human all over it.

However, for this work, there will be a change in the creative process.

He said that generative AI is the logical endpoint for technologies that have kept shortening the time between having an idea and realising it.

“The discipline will be less about sculpting a few ideas over time and more about managing and focusing abundant executions.

“In time, when we are no longer astonished and distracted by generative AI’s parlour trick, it will be viewed as simply the next enabling technology for creativity.

“And as more creative people master the tools, the best will be shaped by the same human qualities that have always inspired us – audacious ideas executed with taste,” he added.