Can artificial intelligence help us write creatively?


Artificial intelligence offers a variety of tools for writing. Knowing them in depth can be beneficial and help us acquire skills and use them ethically.

Currently, it is possible to teach how to work effectively with AI in generating ideas when performing writing tasks, as we have investigated .

How does artificial intelligence write?

The well-known ChatGPT and other AI systems have been trained to answer questions or follow specific typing instructions .

The AI ​​is capable of writing in a certain tone. You can paraphrase a text in a humorous, familiar, professional or witty tone. You can also write from a title or write in the style of Shakespeare. This is the case of AI systems such as, Rytr, Peppertype, Copysmith, Writesonic, Youchat, ASKtoAI, Dupla, Magic Write…

Creativity level

We have analyzed different AI systems and their interaction with university students, applying the Creative Imagination Test for Adults (PIC-A) to determine the level of creativity of each separately, and also when the students use AI. The creativity indicators evaluated were:

  1. Fluency: ability to produce a large number of ideas and associations when faced with a stimulus.
  2. Flexibility: ability to produce varied responses from diverse thematic fields.
  3. Narrative originality: ability to produce unusual ideas.

Which intelligence is more creative: artificial or human?

AI outperforms human intelligence in fluency and flexibility in two tests (sets 2 and 3) of the PIC-A. This may be because there is a large amount of information available, greater than what one person can handle, and having abundant data is essential in the creative process . The greater the knowledge of the details of a problem, the greater the likelihood of finding a solution.

However, a remarkable aspect occurs in relation to the third indicator, which measures originality: while the AI ​​presents greater creativity than the students in game 2, in which a list of all the things that a rubber tube, the students present greater creativity than the AI ​​in game 3, in which they had to indicate what would happen if people never stopped growing.

This is explained due to the type of instruction requested in each game: in game 2 the possible uses of a real object are explored, but the statement in game 3 starts from an implausible situation and seeks to evaluate fantasy and imagination. The human being is less rigid than the AI , which is not capable of distancing itself from the statement of game 3. The AI ​​does not find surprising answers that are far from the obvious, nor is it capable of conceiving such possibilities in that context. Stumble while playing this game.

Does the use of ChatGPT improve creativity?

After completing the PIC-A tasks for the first time, the participants did games 2 and 3 again with the help of the AI. In this second round, human creativity improves with the help of ChatGPT. Specifically, the score in fluency and flexibility increases. This means that both the number of ideas proposed by students and the variety of these ideas have improved. ChatGPT helps students and improves results: human-AI collaboration works.

On the other hand, while originality in the task that presented a real context also improves, this is not the case in the task with an improbable context. ChatGPT has not been able to imagine the repercussions of a fantasy situation. The task involves penetrating the experience, delving deeper into the topic. The use of ChatGPT does not improve the originality of the students in this task.

A help, but not a substitute

AI helps with writing and verbal creativity tasks. Highlights the potential of human–AI collaboration in the writing process.

However, AI cannot replace human intelligence and creativity. Because?

  1. AI is a means, not an end .
  2. Humans have participated in programming, choosing models, and fine-tuning AI .
  3. Creativity does not happen in an isolated mind, but in the interaction of the person with a sociocultural context .
  4. To be truly creative, machines will have to enter the world .
  5. The AI ​​lacks judgment . Students must be able to act with decision, judgment and responsibility.

According to this, human-machine collaborative intelligence is required . Furthermore, to protect the learning process and not reduce the cognitive abilities of students, it is important that AI is a tool in the hands of teachers, but it could never replace them.

A custom AI?

Finally, writing with the help of AI suggests a rethinking of writing and creativity in education. We are in an era in which streaming content no longer makes sense. Teachers must go further and teach their students to do what AI does not know or cannot, when working with it. AI should serve as a starting point, but never as a final result. The information provided by AI must be reviewed through the development of critical thinking. But also the way in which AI writes has to be personalized, contextualized and integrated into the human world, through creative thinking.

The accelerated steps of AI will allow us in the near future to have a personalized AI, capable of adopting our personal writing style, the result of human-machine interaction. We will then continue to take advantage of technology for our educational purposes.

Author Bios: Maria Isabel de Vicente-Yagüe Jara is Professor of Didactics of Language and Literature at the University of Murcia, Francisco Cuellar Santiago is Assistant Professor Doctor at Miguel Hernández University, Olivia Lopez Martinez is Professor of Educational Psychology also at the University of Murcia and Veronica Navarro Navarro is Assistant Professor at the University of Salamanca