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GenAI Creativity Exercise: Beyond Mere Productivity


“Focusing merely on productivity is akin to rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic; it’s a waste of time if we’re not steering towards true value creation. Simply doing something faster doesn’t equate to doing something more effectively or better. We must leverage technologies like GenAI to drive innovation, enhance efficiency, and transform our value creation processes and offerings.”

Senior management seems infatuated with leveraging Generative AI (GenAI) to improve productivity. While productivity improvements are “nice,” they don’t necessarily equate to better, more effective, or more relevant outcomes. Focusing your GenAI initiatives on improving productivity is missing the more significant economic opportunity: the opportunity to leverage GenAI and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in general to create new sources of customer, product, service, and operational value.

The empowering capabilities to leverage GenAI tools, such as OpenAI ChatGPT, to fuel the creativity and imagination necessary to drive creativity and innovation include (Figure 1):

  • Magnify Creative Problem Solving: ChatGPT can generate unique insights and solutions, helping teams think outside conventional frameworks and encouraging innovative problem exploration and problem-solving. For example, ChatGPT can assist in diagnosing complex medical cases by synthesizing patient data with the latest research, suggesting novel treatment approaches that were not immediately evident to practitioners.
  • Accelerating Idea Generation: By understanding and manipulating large datasets, ChatGPT facilitates rapid ideation processes, turning data into actionable and creative business ideas. For example, ChatGPT can analyze consumer feedback and market trends in the automotive industry to help manufacturers ideate new vehicle features that align with evolving consumer preferences.
  • Enhancing Decision Making: ChatGPT supports more informed and innovative decision-making by providing data-driven insights and predictions, enabling businesses to stay ahead in competitive markets. An example is finance, where ChatGPT can aid investment firms and wealth managers by analyzing vast amounts of market data to forecast trends and inform investment strategies that outpace average market returns.
  • Customizing User Experiences: ChatGPT can tailor interactions and services to individual user preferences, driving personalization to new heights and creating unique customer experiences. In e-commerce, ChatGPT can power chatbots that provide personalized shopping advice based on a user’s browsing history and purchase behavior, significantly improving customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Facilitating Continuous Learning and Improvement: Through its iterative learning capabilities, ChatGPT continuously evolves, adapting to new data and emerging trends, thereby perpetually enhancing its innovation potential. In education, ChatGPT can support personalized learning by adjusting content and pacing according to student performance and feedback, continuously improving educational outcomes.

Figure 1: Unleashing Innovation with GenAI

GenAI Creativity Exercise

I decided to see just how creative ChatGPT could be.  So, I posed ChatGPT the following challenge:

“Create an airplane structure to get passengers onto and off airplanes more quickly and comfortably. Think outside the box and explore novel ways to solve that challenge.”

ChatGPT came up with an impressive list of product and service features to address this challenge, including:

  • Dual-Level Boarding: Equip airplanes with entrances at both the front and rear and at multiple levels (upper and lower decks). This can reduce bottleneck effects at the door and speed up boarding and deboarding processes.
  • Slide-Deployable Entrances: Introduce slide-deployable, extendable bridges that connect the terminal directly to multiple airplane doors simultaneously, allowing passengers to board from various points.
  • Modular, Pre-Seated Passenger Modules: Develop detachable cabin modules where passengers can be pre-seated while waiting in the terminal. These modules would then be slotted into the airplane’s fuselage. This approach would minimize the time spent boarding and settling into onboard seats.
  • Rotating Seating Modules: On the plane, rotating seat modules can turn towards the aisle to make seating faster and easier, especially for window seats. Once passengers are seated, the modules rotate back into position.
  • Wider Interior Aisles: Design aisles to be temporarily expandable during boarding and deboarding, possibly by having retractable seats that can increase aisle width when needed.
  • Multiple Aisle Configurations: Implement two or even three aisles in larger aircraft to reduce the distance passengers need to travel to reach their seats.
  • Dynamic Seat Assignment: Use an AI-driven system to assign seats dynamically based on passenger check-in time. Group passengers in the same boarding area to minimize cross-aisle traffic and delays. This system can adapt in real-time to optimize the flow.
  • Efficiency-Driven Boarding Strategies: Develop algorithms that determine the most efficient boarding order based on current passenger data and seat configuration, potentially updating in real time as passengers check in.
  • Smart Overhead Bins: Implement overhead bins with automated packing solutions, where robotic systems scan and arrange bags to optimize space and reduce passengers’ time storing luggage.
  • Augmented Reality Passenger Guidance Systems: Equip the aircraft and terminals with AR (augmented reality) systems to guide passengers directly to their seats via the quickest route and inform them of bin space availability.
  • Personalized Boarding Assistance: Offer wearable tech or apps that send passengers personalized notifications about boarding times, gate changes, seat assignments, and directions for quick boarding.

I especially liked rotating seating modules (no longer have to salmon swim up the aisles), smart overhead bins (give you my carry-on bag as I enter the plane, and hand it back to me when I get off), and AR passenger guidance systems (think about how cool it would be to wear something like the Apple Vision Pro to help get you onto and off airplanes more quickly).  Count me in!!

Then, I asked ChatGPT to draw an image of the aircraft that would support these innovative features.


Figure 2: ChatGPT Original Designed Airplane to Accelerate Passenger Onboarding and Deplaning

YIKES!! I had to make a series of suggestions – such as creating an architecture that would actually fly – until ChatGPT finally came up with this design:


Figure 3: ChatGPT Refined Designed Airplane to Accelerate Passenger Onboarding and Deplaning

This design is closer to reality without losing the sense of creativity and innovation. Although I would never fly in an airplane designed solely by ChatGPT, I would be eager to see how a team of airplane engineers, technicians, and architects could use ChatGPT to enhance their expertise and creativity to create an innovative aircraft design that helps me get on and off airplanes more quickly.


We have an excellent opportunity to use GenAI / AI to go beyond just improving productivity. While useful productivity may not always lead to more effective or relevant results. Instead, we should direct our GenAI / AI efforts toward promoting innovation and generating new sources of value in customer interactions, product development, services, and operational efficiencies.

For example, I worked with ChatGPT to explore new ways of designing an airplane structure that would make the boarding and deboarding processes more efficient. ChatGPT suggested several creative features, such as dual-level boarding, slide-deployable entrances, and modular pre-seated passenger modules to reduce bottlenecks and enhance efficiency. Although the initial designs were not optimal, our collaboration eventually led to something more practical. This demonstrates how AI-powered creativity can help reimagine traditional systems and structures in aviation, potentially transforming them for the better. It also shows the practical implications of AI-driven innovation in real-world scenarios.