ChatGPT-4 Shows Human-Surpassing Creativity, Study Finds


In a remarkable breakthrough announced at the University of Southern Oregon’s Conference on Creativity, OpenAI’s large language model, GPT-4, scored in the top 1% on the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT), outperforming human capacities in fluency, flexibility, and originality.

Small business owners and innovators may need to reconsider their strategies for idea generation and problem-solving, as the creative potential of artificial intelligence (AI) platforms like GPT-4 is put in the spotlight.

In a study led by researchers Erik Guzik, Christian Byrge, and Christian Gilde from the Universities of Montana and Vilnius, the language model showcased its creative capabilities on the TTCT – the recognized gold standard for assessing creativity since the 1970s. GPT-4 excelled in tasks such as asking probing questions, generating ideas for product enhancement, brainstorming alternative uses for existing products, and envisioning future scenarios.

When benchmarked against human responses, GPT-4’s performance was staggering. Across eight tests, the AI scored in the top 1% for fluency — the capacity to generate a significant number of responses per task. In flexibility, the capability to produce varied ideas and transition between approaches, GPT-4 ranked in the top 1% for three tests, top 2% for two, and top 7% for the remaining three. In terms of originality, GPT-4 managed to land in the top 1% in all tests, demonstrating its knack for delivering unique and innovative responses.

The research team stated, “These results are more than just impressive. They suggest that we need to reconsider how AI creativity can assist humans in solving complex and critical problems, especially during idea generation, evaluation, elaboration, and testing.”

Small businesses often face resource constraints, limiting their ability to hire and maintain a large staff or invest in extensive market research. This is where AI’s immense creative potential can make a real difference. From brainstorming product development strategies to devising effective marketing tactics, the fluency, flexibility, and originality demonstrated by GPT-4 can serve as a powerful tool for small businesses to innovate and compete effectively.

The study’s findings could spark a rethinking of how we define, evaluate, and cultivate creativity in various spheres, including education, organizations, and society at large. The prospect of a human-AI partnership to tackle intricate challenges appears more promising than ever, given the demonstrated creative prowess of models like GPT-4.

The research team plans to delve deeper, exploring how to refine GPT-4’s creative capacities in specific domains such as business innovation and entrepreneurship. Their full findings and additional research are set to be published this summer.

In the era of AI and automation, small business owners have an unprecedented opportunity to leverage cutting-edge technology for creativity and innovation. With GPT-4’s demonstrated creativity, a new chapter in AI-assisted problem-solving and idea generation appears to be unfolding, potentially transforming how small businesses operate, innovate, and compete.

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Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 16 years. A professional journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional media and online media, he attended Waynesburg University and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has held roles of reporter, editor and publisher, having founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press.