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Brainstorming 2.0: Leveraging AI for Innovative Problem Solving

Brainstorming, a term coined by advertising executive Alex Osborn in the 1950s, has long been a staple of the creative process. Osborn proposed that by suspending judgment and encouraging wild ideas, groups could generate a large quantity of ideas, improving the chances of finding innovative solutions. Over the decades, various techniques have emerged to structure and enhance the brainstorming process, such as brainwriting, mind mapping, and the Six Thinking Hats method.

Now, with the advent of artificial intelligence (AI), brainstorming is undergoing another evolution. AI tools like ChatGPT are becoming powerful allies in the ideation process, enabling teams to generate ideas faster, explore problems from new angles, and uncover innovative solutions that might otherwise be overlooked.

One way AI is enhancing brainstorming is by facilitating the use of advanced techniques. For example, the Disney Method, which involves exploring ideas from the perspectives of a dreamer, realist, and critic, can be guided by AI prompts. A team could ask ChatGPT to lead them through the process: "Could we go through the Disney Method to generate ideas for a sustainable urban transport system? Start with the Dreamer phase." The AI can then provide prompts for each phase, helping the team to generate, refine, and critique ideas systematically.

Similarly, AI can aid in the application of techniques like SCAMPER (Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to another use, Eliminate, Reverse) for lateral thinking. A prompt like "Let's employ S.C.A.M.P.E.R. Lateral Thinking to innovate new features for a smartphone. Begin with the Substitute aspect" can guide a team to explore a wide range of possibilities, challenging conventional thinking.

AI can also help to bring structure to complex brainstorming sessions. Methods like the Lotus Blossom Technique, where a central idea is expanded into related themes, can be facilitated by AI prompts. For a problem like reducing plastic waste, ChatGPT could help a team explore sub-themes like recycling, biodegradable materials, consumer behavior, and legislation, ensuring a comprehensive approach.

Looking to the future, AI could transform brainstorming even further. Advanced AI systems might actively participate in ideation, offering their own creative suggestions based on vast knowledge bases. They could help to analyze and prioritize ideas, identifying those with the most potential. AI could also facilitate remote and asynchronous brainstorming, enabling global teams to collaborate seamlessly.

From its origins with Osborn's simple principles to the AI-enhanced techniques of today, brainstorming has always been about pushing the boundaries of creativity. As we integrate AI tools like ChatGPT into the brainstorming process, we're equipping ourselves to tackle ever more complex problems and uncover truly innovative solutions. The future of brainstorming is an exciting fusion of human ingenuity and artificial intelligence, promising a new era of creative problem-solving.

To learn more about using AI for advanced brainstorming, check out "16+ ChatGPT-4o advanced brainstorming prompts and techniques"


If you or your organization would like to explore how AI can enhance productivity, please visit my website at You can also schedule a free 15-minute call by clicking here




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