ChatGPT & Synectics Method: AI-driven Creative Brainstorming

JetStyle Digital Production
6 min readFeb 9, 2024

We’ve been sharing a lot of tips and lifehacks about collaborating with Midjourney and Stable Diffusion; you can read them here and here.

Text AIs are great creative partners as well; they are perfect for research and processing of information. JetStyle’s CEO Alexey Kulakov collaborates with ChatGPT on creative tasks during brainstorming sessions. He doesn’t claim that AI is a better creative partner than a human, however, he finds some advantages neural networks bring into the process.

Alexey has trained ChatGPT to provide versatile results, and you might find his technique useful. Read more:

About Creativity

First, let’s agree on a few ideas.

When we talk about creativity and imagination, we believe that the essence of human creativity is combining existing cultural images. When we say that a creative idea is a successful one, we mean that it’s relevant to the context of the task and the audience, deep and elegant.

Our brains don’t store creative ideas. All the images are distributed randomly, and if you want to connect them, you have to trigger your neural connections. This is what most of the creativity methods aim to do: they show our brains images that should be connected. Other creativity techniques train our brains to create original combinations of elements.

Brainstorming is a great way of triggering neural connections. We already have all the ideas in our heads, but we need to find the right associations to elicit them from our minds. That’s what we do during brainstorming: we let ideas flow freely between the participants, and it evokes original associations.

We’ll tell you about another practice, but instead of people it partners you with AI.

Before that, we’ll introduce you to another useful method for facilitating a creative process; it’s called the synectics method.

Introduction to Synectics Method

According to the Oxford Dictionary, synectics is “a problem-solving technique which seeks to promote creative thinking, typically among small groups of people of diverse expertise.” The synectics method encourages the participants to find connections between seemingly unrelated elements.

There are several key characteristics of this method that we believe to be most beneficial for brainstorming process:

  • Synectics triggers imagination through role-playing. If you step outside your usual roles, you are more likely to suggest more creative ideas.
  • Synectics boosts diversity in thinking. It brings together individuals with different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives to contribute to the brainstorming process.

What if we skip the part where we invite several people with different backgrounds and ask the neural network to pretend it’s all of them?

Synectics with ChatGPT

If we want to achieve effectiveness with AI, our job is to provide it with a specific description of a method it has to follow. We suggest the rules of the game, decompose the task and make sure ChatGPT understands the assignment.

Let us show it using an example. The task is to brainstorm an idea for a landing page about web design for our website. We begin by explaining the task to ChatGPT.

In the prompt we set up the technique we’re going to use, but we do it iteratively. At step 1, we suggest that ChatGPT provides a list of associations with web design, and a list of challenges clients may typically have while they order design services.

After getting the lists, we ask the AI to suggest taglines that would account for the pains clients experience and fit the associations with web design.

As you see, we are pretty detailed when it comes to describing the format of the ChatGPT’s answer. ChatGPT often gets ‘lazy’ in the middle of the process and does not finish the task. That’s why we ask the network to proceed in an iterative manner. Let us know if you know effective prompts for making ChatGPT do the full work from the first time!

After we have the full table, we proceed to step 2. Now it’s time to assign a role to ChatGPT to help us narrow down the selection of taglines.

Quite often, Alexey prefers not to delegate this task to AI and does it himself, hence the numeration rules: they facilitate further choice of options.

Next step. Where do you get fresh perspectives when it’s just you and your computer?

We’ll introduce Peason’s archetypes system into the process:

The idea is to paraphrase the taglines we selected earlier through perspectives of different archetypes:

An example of how ChatGPT processes the task:

1. Captivate with Interactive Design

  • Archetype: Magician
  • Reformulated Tagline: “Transform Your World with Enchanting Interactions.”
  • Questions: How can we use design to magically transform user experience? What transformative experiences can we create that truly enchant our users?
  • Archetype: Jester
  • Reformulated Tagline: “Delight in Every Click: Where Fun Meets Function.”
  • Questions: How can we infuse humor and fun into our interactive design? What elements can make our users smile or laugh?
  • Archetype: Explorer
  • Reformulated Tagline: “Embark on a Journey of Discovery with Every Interaction.”
  • Questions: How can we encourage exploration through our design? What features can make our platform a journey rather than a destination?

To narrow down the list of interpretations, we put ChatGPT into the shoes of a marketing director again:

The AI gave a list of 11 factors a marketing director would pay attention to while choosing a contractor for web design.

It’s really important to add this context into the conversation. If you don’t do it, ChatGPT will provide more shallow answers. Specify the perspective you need.

We encourage ChatGPT to create taglines that would both preserve the creative idea, but also consider the pains of the target audience of the future landing page.

One example of what the AI suggested:

1. “Beyond the Ordinary: Design Innovation That Propelled Startups to Market Leadership”

  • Original Interest: Focus on innovation for startups.
  • Implied Answer: This title suggests that the company’s innovative design approach has a track record of elevating startups to positions of market leadership, offering concrete examples of overcoming challenges and seizing opportunities.

When the process is done, you have a list of taglines that are relevant to your business goals. They consider the specifics of your target audience, and they are not limited to only your way of thinking. It’s definitely something to start from — and sometimes you’ll get solid ideas that are worth being included in the shortlist for your team discussions.

3 key tips on collaborating with ChatGPT:

  1. If you’re looking for high-quality and original ideas, you have to be in charge of the methods ChatGPT will work with. By introducing frameworks into the conversation, you set up a certain logic into the process. You may use the methods we describe in the article, or include different ones.
  2. Basically, our flow interchanges between convergent and divergent thinking. First, you create a set of variants according to one method, then you narrow it down with another one. The cycle may repeat itself as many times as you need.
  3. You may remain the ‘supervisor’ of the process and delegate all steps to ChatGPT. However, if you want to complete any element of the task yourselves, then begin from a previous step: otherwise, your own human neurons will not trigger and turn on the ‘creative mode’.

Hope you find this useful! Let us know if you practice this tip, and follow us on social media for more insights on application of AI into everyday tasks.

Source: https://jet.style/articles/chatgpt-synectics-method-ai-driven-creative-brainstorming

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JetStyle Digital Production

Sharing expertise on product development, VR/MR/AR, UX/UI design, design for sustainability. Tips & tricks on creative collaboration with AI.