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Creative AI

The Intersection of AI, Technology, & Entertainment

An Iteration & Collaboration Mindset Will Unleash Your AI’s Potential

When you think about working with AI, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For many, the assumption is that AI will do all the work for you. That’s it’s a perfect robot assistant that simply executes your commands.

But pause to consider that a more effective approach to AI would be better described as the machine working with you. Think of it that way and your whole frame of reference changes. It may seem like a nuanced difference, but thinking of it as a collaborator is a game-changer when it comes to getting more impactful results.

One recurring criticism I often hear about AI, is that it either takes credit for human-created work or fails to deliver work that meets human quality standards. This viewpoint is as misplaced as thinking that a vacuum cleaner will permanently replace the act of sweeping. Both have merit, and using one doesn’t diminish the value of the other. But one is far more efficient and impactful in many cases. And it also demands a lot less work.

A common misstep I’ve noticed is people feeling shortchanged when AI doesn’t “give them” exactly what they were hoping for. If you’re in the mindset that AI will deliver perfect results on your very first try, well, that’s not the AI that’s at fault. It’s a misunderstanding of the complexities involved in a genuinely creative process.

But once you start treating AI as a partner in a collaborative process, and the nature of your interaction changes dramatically. When you’re feeding prompts to AI, knowing full well you’ll engage in an iterative dialog, you shift from a mindset of ‘getting something’ to one of ‘doing something.’

Any creative journey involves multiple iterations. Yet, the frequency with which you’ll need to iterate when working with an AI is far less than you would if you were going it alone. Furthermore, with less time and effort sunk into each draft, you’ll find your creative landscape is far wider. And because it’s easier to know that you’re headed in the right direction you’ll often find yourself doing (and exploring) more than just trying to get things done.

To make the most of this collaboration, you’ll start by establishing a strong context. Context-setting goes beyond merely laying out what you expect from the AI. It involves understanding the scope of your project, setting objectives, and having a clear vision of what success will look like.

Just last week, someone recommended I use a Story Map for a project I’m working on. For those unfamiliar, a Story Map is a strategic planning tool that allows you to visually map out the key elements of your story or project. I was already familiar with the concept, but I wanted to see if using one could take my project to the next level.

After querying the AI for a deeper explanation of Story Maps to solidify my understanding, I decided to put it into action. I fed the AI my initial project pitch and had it generate a sample Story Map document. Not only did I receive a solid foundational draft, but the AI also provided stimulating insights that found their way into the actual product design.

And after that comes the fun part—fine-tuning. You can go back and forth with digital collaborator, making iterative improvements without losing momentum. This is in stark contrast to human partnerships where exchanging drafts can sometimes turn into a drawn-out affair, often derailing focus from your primary project.

One of the greatest perks of using AI is that each new iteration essentially costs you nothing more than a couple of extra minutes. The return on investment for that time can be astronomical, especially when you consider the ripple effect on the quality and speed of your work.

Working with AI is a unique experience. The machine won’t get tired, frustrated, or disillusioned. It’s in the game for the long haul, just as you are. But be prepared; AI does come with its own set of quirks, including an almost ‘overzealous’ adherence to political correctness.

It may pull out some of your language and examples and replace it with what sounds like a pitch for a particular point of view. Or even scold you for not following particular rules around inclusivity or language.

The AI has been deeply trained to avoid anything potentially offensive, and sometimes it can just take it too far. With a little back and forth to find the right nuance, you can usually reach a good middle ground. I’ve learned to keep this “overcorrection” tendency in mind. Once you grasp how to work within or around these tendencies, the sky is pretty much the limit.

A collaborative mindset when it comes to working AI turns the act of generative creation into an evolving, dynamic process. And when you fully embrace this, you can begin to treat the AI as more than just a tool. It’s your creative partner waiting for you unleash its abilities.

* Iteration is not just likely; it’s a necessary way to get the results you’re looking for.
* The clearer your context, scope, and goals, the better results the AI will serve you.
* Openness to unforeseen and emergent creativity can lead you to places you hadn’t even imagined.



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