Architecture and AI

When I wrote my Master’s thesis, conceptualizing Creativity was essential and I used J.P. Guildford‘s ideas as a basis: creativity is the ability to exhibit creative behavior to a remarkable degree. He conceptualized creativity as a factor within a general theory of intelligence, involving the divergent thinking that could be developed through interaction between individuals and their environments. His proposal uses divergent cycles, which make it possible to create alternatives to a design problem from different perspectives, and convergent cycles, emphasizing the best option for the problem, with no room for ambiguity.

I’ve been revisiting this topic discussing on Reddit whether ChatGPT can be considered creative and more and more I tend to say “Yes”. Last month an architect suggested me the book “Architecture in the Age of Artificial Intelligence-An introduction to AI for architects“; after all, an architect must have original ideas, could it be replaced by ChatGPT? It’s a short book (180pp) and I recommend reading it, the first 2 chapters are a summary of techniques and how we got here in the field of Artificial Intelligence (but don’t expect anything in depth). The remaining chapters offer the view that knowledge workers like architects will be helped by AI tools but can also be overwhelmed by them. And that it is necessary to anticipate and understand where this happens and prepare. The reports about XKool are fascinating and this Guardian article has great pictures.In my reading, the book considers AI capable of being creative, something that Nick Cave’s latest newsletter dismantles. According to Nick, “ChatGPT is fast-tracking the commodification of the human spirit by mechanising the imagination”, sounds an anachronism to me.

I, as a software developer, also see myself as a knowledge worker and I am studying a lot to be ready. I have also been using my children and their friends to (try) to understand how the next generation sees the world in a few years. Both see a world dominated by AI and fearful of their place in this world. I tell them what I wrote above: be prepared.