Despite the rumors, imagination ain’t dead yet. 

People working together to build a lightbulb.

Does it feel like creativity, innovation, and originality are in short supply these days? Or even under attack from the Machines? Look at mainstream movies and TV shows relying on predictable plotlines, tired properties, sequels, and reboots. Notice how many commercials simply trot out high-priced celebrities in lieu of imaginative, unconventional concepts. The music industry, once celebrated for its diversity and revolutionary sounds, feels homogenized with auto-tuned vocals, repetitive beats, and formulaic song structures dominating the charts. Even your TV watch, song and grocery lists are automatically assembled and managed by algorithms. 

And most recently, everyone’s talking about AI flat-out ending human creativity as we know it. 

But let’s not shuffle imagination off to the extinct species list, just yet. 

It’s gotten us this far. 

Of course, human creativity is the cornerstone of progress. It’s what fuels scientific discoveries, technological breakthroughs, and innovative solutions to complex problems. Consider the technological marvels that transformed our lives–from fire to smartphones–all born from the imagination of individuals who dared to dream beyond the confines of the present. But it’s more than that. 

It allows us to walk in someone else’s shoes. 

Imagination fosters empathy and understanding. When we engage with imaginative works, whether literature, art, or film, we’re transported into different perspectives and experiences. Feeling love, hate, joy, and despair by extension. This not only broadens our horizons, but also cultivates empathy by allowing us to see the world through the eyes of others. In an increasingly diverse and interconnected world, nurturing empathy and human connection is critical. 

It asks, “What if?” 

When we embrace creativity, we equip ourselves with the ability to approach challenges from unique angles, envisioning solutions that others might overlook. This makes imagination essential for problem-solving and critical thinking. In today’s rapidly evolving landscape, where global issues like climate change and social inequality demand innovative solutions, the absence of imaginative thinking puts the brakes on our ability to effectively address them. 

It was here long before AI. 

So, let’s remind ourselves imagination isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity for cultural growth and societal advancement. Let’s take it upon ourselves to keep fueling our collective imagination, celebrating and supporting those who dare to think outside the box, challenge conventions, and create innovative works that shape the future. We thought up AI after all! 

And it pushes AI’s buttons. 

Publicly available AI applications are evolving as you read this. It’s a bit like driving a car as it’s being built. One thing is becoming clear in the creative environment amid the dynamic changes: AI’s output is only as good as the input. That’s where imagination comes in. Whether it’s copy or design, AI can be a helpful tool to explore directions or test combinations, but entering the right prompts is critical.  

Conjuring an idea is one half of the job, accurately breaking that idea down into describable parts is the other. In addition to colors, styles, genres, etc., humans can bring the concept of feelings and emotion to generated words and images. Computing can put it all together, but we have the power to pick the best ingredients. 

Check out how Yes& Digital Creative Lead, Evangeline Weber uses AI to explore concepts and design in her “test kitchen.”  

There are some exciting, fast-moving changes happening in technology right now and we’re all trying to figure it out. Yes& is always striving to stay in front and manage changes in technology and best practices as they happen. Here are our latest thoughts on AI: Putting the Chat in Chatbots.  

Imagination has a bright future. 

As we all attempt to navigate our increasingly complex and interconnected world, the power of human imagination has never been needed more. It’s time to break free from the constraints of the ordinary and the algorithmic and embrace the extraordinary potential within each of us. 200,000 years of results prove the news of human imagination’s demise is greatly exaggerated. 

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