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Creative Intelligence: What This Is, How To Measure, New AI Opportunities

The theory and application of creative intelligence is just recently maturing and taking some surprising twists. Specifically, this article explains what creative intelligence is, how it can be measured, and examples of people with creative intelligence. Also surprisingly, find out how artificial intelligence (AI) is beginning to enhance this age-old human process of creativity.

What Is Creative Intelligence?

It was just in 1988 that the term “Creative Intelligence” became formalized in the field of psychology. Namely, this was when Robert Sternberg developed his Triarchic Theory of Intelligence. Specifically, his description of Creative Intelligence is as follows:

“… the set of skills used to create, invent, discover, explore, imagine, and suppose”

American Psychology Association

To explain, specific aspects of creative intelligence include:

What is creative intelligence?
What Is Creative Intelligence?
  • Creative Intelligence Creates Unique Solutions. Has the ability to solve problems by imagining new and unique solutions.
  • It Is Able To Fully Develop New Ideas. Has a knack for storytelling, art, and developing new ideas.
  • It Is Highly Innovative and Imaginative. 
  • Example Person With Creative Intelligence. Elon Musk is an example of someone who has creative intelligence because of his novel solutions and innovative ideas.

Creative Intelligence: A Well Defined Process And Tests You Can Take.

The Creative Process.

A well cited creative process comes from Wallas’s 1926 publication,The Art of Thought. Specifically, the Wallas Stage Model of creativity included preparation, incubation, illumination, and verification. Also, you can add a fifth stage, execution. For a full explanation of the creative process, see Unvarnished Facts’ Improve Creativity: Here Is The Process And How To Techniques.

Creative Intelligence Tests.

Also if you want to test your own creative intelligence, see Lifehack’s Creative Brain Tests that has 10 different creative tests you can take.

Example of Creative Intelligence – John T. Parsons, Inventor of Numerical Control

John T. Parsons, Inventor of the Numerical Controller (NC)

Jon Parsons, inventor of the Numerical Control (NC), is a good example of a person who has creative intelligence. Starting out as a stamping plant piece-worker, his accomplishments spanned 60 years of creative problem solving. Furthermore, he continuously sought out ways to improve all phases of manufacturing. Specifically, this included adhesive bonding in metal aircraft structure, first all-composite airplane, and gigantic fuel lines for the Saturn booster to name a few. 

His greatest patented invention was the numerical control (NC) which he invented and applied in the 1940s. In particular, he was able to calculate helicopter airfoil coordinates with an IBM 602A multiplier. From there he fed the data into a punch card, which he then used on a swiss jig. Hence, over the years this NC process was completely computerized where it is called today Computer Numerical Control (CNC).

How Do You Measure Creativity?

For measuring creativity, some psychologists use the same criteria that the U.S. Patent Office uses for awarding a patent. Obviously, a patent needs to be unique to be awarded a patent with its coveted patent protection. It then follows that a unique  “creation” is the embodiment of creativity. So specifically, this “creativity” measurement used by the U.S. Patent office has the following criteria.

  • Is It Original? The idea should be unique and unrelated to the work of others.
  • Is It Useful? The idea should be valuable or work to solve a specific problem. If a product is original but can’t be utilized, it will not receive a rating in usefulness.
  • Does It Surprise You? The idea should be non-obvious and built upon a new foundation of knowledge.

Human Creative Process Leveraging Data Analytics and AI.

What a strange world we live in. Psychologists are just figuring out what creative intelligence is and its human processes, and now we throw Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data analytics into the mix. In the field of marketing, marketing agencies are adding to their creative process a new “data” step.  They are now starting with data analysis as the first stage of the creative methodology. 

They are calling these marketing agencies, digital-first agencies. These marketing groups are first looking at their audience levering huge data sets. The data points of these data sets are psychological, behavioral, and transactional that characterize their target audience.  Marketeers who use this digital-first approach are increasingly using AI tools to augment their creative process. See Forrester’s The Intelligence Revolution Takes Hold In Marketing Creativity.

For more information of the theory of intelligence and creative intelligence in particular, see SmartBoost’s The Psychology Behind Creative Intelligence.

For more information from Unvarnished Facts, see articles on creativity and innovation and data analytics / AI.

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