Brunelle on Creativity and how idea people thrive in an age of artificial intelligence and automation

My friend Tim Brunelle recently gave a speech on creativity and the age of A.I. and automation. He wrote a 11 min read Medium piece on it that is so rich and full of quotes, it takes a couple reads through to realize its breadth and impact.

For starters, I love his point about how idea people are agitators that can be perceived as troublemakers. This is something I’ve learned a lot about myself in the past few years…


As Idea People, we are also agitators.

I’ll paraphrase Robert Grudin, who describes us in his book The Grace of Great Things, “Many [Idea People] initially are seen as troublemakers simply because their vigorous and uncompromising analysis exposes problems that previously had been ignored.”

Grudin warns that, “Creativity is dangerous. We cannot open ourselves to new insight without endangering the security of prior assumptions. Creative achievement”—and that’s what I believe all of us Idea People are all about — “Creative achievement is… an adventure. It’s pleasure is not the comfort of the safe harbor, but the thrill of the reaching sail.”

So onward we sail.

Tim goes on to discuss the problem of A.I. and automation stealing our jobs, and then his simple premise that rather than resist and fight it, we should learn how to enhance our own creativity using these new tools..

So I’m curious — what if you editors, you publishers, writers and designers thought of yourselves as technologists? How might your product evolve, what new products would emerge — from curious Idea People seeking to apply the benefits of AI to the sustained, periodic shipment of words, images and motion to subscribers?

I must admit I am not a scientist. I am not a software developer. I can’t spool up an artificial intelligence on Amazon Web Services. But I can ask questions and I can learn. In learning about AI and automation I’ve found I am not afraid of the future of Idea People. I’m bullish on our abilities to derive opportunity from the evolution of technology.

I believe the long term, passionate, purposeful thinkers in this room will discover unique, robust and profitable ways to benefit from automation and artificial intelligence. If we remain curious.

I think this is cogent advice for anyone in the creative industry or a role that requires any semblance of problem solving. Embracing emerging technology and learning to use it today pays long-term dividends.

Don’t fight the A.I. Become it’s master.