In recent times, generative AI has become a game-changer in the way we create things at work. From proposals to presentations, this technology has impacted how we approach fact-finding, writing, imagery, and video production. While some may view AI with apprehension, it has the potential to become an invaluable co-worker, provided we adopt it responsibly and align it with our intentions.

Let’s explore five ways in which we’re currently leveraging AI at work:

Research Synthesis: In the past, design thinking often involved people gathered around foam core boards covered in Post-It notes. However, with the pandemic, this process has shifted to digital tools like Miro, Reduct, and Figjam. Now, Interaction Designer Takashi Wickes uses generative AI to streamline the synthesis process. By transcribing interviews using Reduct and then running the quotes through Notion AI with specific prompts, he identifies key takeaways from conversations. The AI’s output serves as a foundation that Takashi and his team build upon, combining AI’s efficiency with human intelligence’s deeper insights.

Concepting & Ideation: Designers are prolific idea generators. Traditionally, ideation sessions began with prompts, leading to sketching out concepts. However, AI-based image generators like DALL-E and Midjourney have opened new possibilities. For instance, when brainstorming dinnertime games, feeding DALL-E the prompt “a family playing with their food during dinner” sparked creative directions and unexpected gameplay ideas. AI-generated images inspire and challenge our traditional thinking, leading to novel concepts.

Critique: Constructive critique is an essential part of our creative culture, and we’re always exploring ways to improve it. In the past, we experimented with an insight analyzer chatbot that helped identify overused terms and weak wording. Now, AI tools like ChatGPT have evolved, enabling us to receive critiques on insights and ideas. The AI’s impartiality and unique perspective enhance our understanding of potential improvements.

Marketing Copy: For community events and informational sessions, writing engaging marketing copy is crucial. Recently, ChatGPT proved valuable in crafting copy for an internal informational session about generative AI. While we refined and added our input, the AI’s contribution provided a solid starting point for the event’s content and pitch.

Slide Decks: Google Slides are widely used at IDEO for various purposes, from project deliverables to internal events. AI-generated slides from tools like Tome.app have become a valuable resource for refining communication, visualizing new product ideas, and exploring novel play styles for games.

As we integrate AI into our creative processes, we must remember that it doesn’t replace human creativity but enhances it. By understanding AI better and developing constructive relationships with these technologies, we can coevolve with AI in a way that benefits our work and society. Embracing generative AI responsibly will pave the way for a harmonious human-AI ecosystem that endures beyond mere hype cycles.

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