Neil Leach


Artificial Intelligence is everywhere – from the apps on our phone to the algorithms of search engines. Without us noticing, the AI revolution has arrived. But what does it mean for the world of design?

The work examines the question of creativity. Generative AI has proved to be a game changer in many fields, not least architecture. Chatbots, such as ChatGPT, are changing the way that we write, and diffusion models, such as MidJourney, are changing the way that we design. Clearly these tools can augment our human capabilities. But are they actually creative in and of themselves?

This work argues that they are performing a straightforward mechanical task involving vast amounts of data highly effectively, but that this does not necessarily make them creative. It then goes on to question the notion of creativity itself, and to challenge received views on the topic. It argues that if a machine can generate outcomes that can be construed as being ‘creative’, then perhaps what we call ‘creativity’ is more straightforward than we have thought to date. Indeed, it argues that the mystique that surrounds ‘creativity’ might be obscuring the fact that what we call ‘creativity’ is actually a mechanical ‘search and synthesize’ process, much like Generative AI itself.

The work concludes that AI can serve as a useful mirror in which to understand human behavior, and that AI can potentially help us debunk the myth of human creativity.

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