AI more creative in divergent thinking than humans, on average,Koivisto & Grassini study

Fascinating study by Mika Koivisto and Simone Grassini. They tested humans versus GPT3, GPT4, and Copy.ai, to see who performed better in divergent thinking tasks: “Participants were asked to generate uncommon and creative uses for everyday objects.”

To rate the answers, the researchers used two forms of evaluation: (1) “To operationalize originality, we used a computational method to objectively quantify the semantic distance between the object probes and the responses.” (2) “human raters who were blind to the presence of AI-generated responses evaluated the responses. These raters provided a human view of creativity, as it is possible that mere semantic distance may not capture all aspects of creative products that humans consider original or surprising.”

  1. “On average, the AI chatbots outperformed human participants. While human responses included poor-quality ideas, the chatbots generally produced more creative responses.”
  2. But “the best human ideas still matched or exceed those of the chatbots.”


Koivisto, M., Grassini, S. Best humans still outperform artificial intelligence in a creative divergent thinking task. Sci Rep 13, 13601 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-40858-3.

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