Linus Lee’s November 2021 post AI as a creative collaboratorreally sums up some ideas about potential future uses for AI in creativity and productivity tools.

It resonates with ideas I’ve also had about the use of AI in the past, and he draws on some real-world examples like Gmail’s type-ahead to explain potential applications.

AI as a creative collaborator is a great way to phrase an alternative look at AI. Instead of taking over, it assists us, helpful, playful.

When we were working on Pastegrid back in 2016, I was exploring ways of getting funding for development by introducing novel ways of utilising AI for helping users sort and group items. The idea wasn’t to make the AI do the full layout for you, but present you with suggestions of new groups or layouts for particular items. I also thought a lot about the ability to have multiple views for the same data on a canvas. The standard view could be your manual layout, but the AI could present you with totally new arrangements of your stuff.

Pastegrid was meant to be a tool for thought, a way to organise and ideate, collate references and map them out. A way to get an overview of the creative process.

Imagine if the AI creative collaborator could help rearrange our canvas in 5–6 different ways? Maybe it groups images by colour, sentiment or some other vector, maybe it places all images with people next to eachother and buildings apart. Your headlines get mixed up and spread to where the AI though it might fit. All in different views, of the same underlying data. You still have access to your meticulously arranged canvas.

Now that’s a great assistant! It would certainly help me see things in a new light, and would be a very helpful feature.

Perhaps it is here, in the space of AI creative collaborators that there are great business opportunities for tools for thought? Open software with paid pluggable ‘collaborators’?


%% Could AI creative collaborators help us be more creative and productive? Could AI be another way to generate revenue in the tools for thought space?

In 5 minutes @thesephist looks at AI as helpful collaborators rather than tools to enhance our creativity and productivity workflows. %%