“A deer with three antlers"

You can picture it in your mind. A five-year-old can draw it. But what visual did Artificial Intelligence generate based on this prompt?

Hint: see above.

In hindsight it makes sense. The majority of images on the Internet tagged with “deer” or “antler” show an animal with two horns. I assume AI is simply averaging them all.

That’s great if what you need is something average.

But if you want to get to more fertile, unexplored creative territories, I think it still requires a human to go a little crazy. Deep dive the weird, the wrong. Look at it backwards. Scream at your own brain to keep thinking of new solutions.

AI doesn't scream. It's methodical and calculated. It's Google Maps. It's Waze. It takes the fastest route to known destinations.

Creative thinkers, on the other hand, must allow themselves to get lost. Breakthrough ideas and new discoveries happen more often when you’re willing to take a sudden left, and go veering off deep into the woods.

Only then, in a quiet, sunlit pasture lined with towering spruce and fir, you might find yourself lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a deer with three antlers. 

Joe Nafziger