Summary: Generative AI improvises responses based on the nuanced interpretation of the intent of your request. By learning improvisation, you can become a stronger UX actor while “outperforming” to get better outputs from AI.
Where prompt libraries fail, improv can help you improve your AI interactions
When “AI prompts” fail to give you productivity-rich results, you have to use your ‘soft skills’. Improvisation or improv is a super soft skill that can make you a better UX designer or communicator and help you get more from AI interactions. AI, particularly generative AI, relies on nuanced interpretations of user intent to provide meaningful responses.
One unconventional yet highly effective way to improve your AI interactions and become a better UX designer or communicator is by learning the art of improvisation. Improv is about responding fluidly to new information and scenarios. By being sharp in your improv skills, you can stay ahead of unexpected responses from AI interactions. Beyond enhancing AI interactions, learning improv can significantly boost your communication skills, a crucial asset in UX design and various professional settings.
Transcript: Use Improv to improve AI Interactions
“One thing that can improve how you interact with AI is improv or improvisation. Because at the foundational level of the way generative AI works is it improvisers, it doesn’t matter what you throw at, for example, chatGPT, it will respond in the same way that improv uses yes and, and the hallmarks of improv are listening deeply and going with a yes and validation. So you’re building it’s inherently collaborative improv in the sense of, there’s no thought, there’s no “NO” there’s no “go in a different direction”. There’s validate Listen, validate, build, and chatGPT or generative AI does this, so it makes sense that you should also learn improv so that you can, in a way, outsmart the interactions that you’re having. It’s basically a productivity hack. Get more from Ai by being on top of your improv game.
Why AI needs Improv: Improv is key for human-centered AI
“Now, when I was teaching earlier this year, I was teaching a workshop in Amsterdam and before the workshop started, I went and attended somebody else’s workshop. There was about a month before I was set to teach this workshop and I noticed this guy at the back of the class using chat to btw and I thought, wow, okay, and now chatty putty had only come out a few months before this to public release. This is so at that point, people were unsure of you know, what is this? Is it taking me away my job and all this kind of, you know, and then is it appropriate in a classroom, you know, or in a workshop and should students be allowed to, you know, all these kinds of doubts and concerns and I thought, yeah, no, let’s install in an improv sort of way. Let’s not fight it. Let’s embrace it. So I actually built it into my workshop. And what I realised coming out of that workshop is that generative AI is an incredible framing tool, that it can help you frame things, and it can help you see things a little bit differently.
“But I think it’s critical that you understand improv skills so that they can improve your communication, as well as how you frame things. For example, if you haven’t, let’s take the old argument of how to defend user research and UX because user research constantly needs to be defended. You could ask chatGPT to build a case for you to have this interaction with you. And then you could refine it. You can say things like, convince me why user research is so important.
“So chatGPT is remarkably nuanced- we’ve been doing research exhausting it. It understands a lot of UX concepts and methods and distinctions, more so than a lot of UX people that I’ve that I know. And so that’s worrying, and what that tells me is that we need to be smarter than our AI at the same time, we need to be effective with those that we collaborate with and work with in our teams. That’s where improv comes in as a key skill that you can use to be two steps ahead of your Hey, thanks so much for tuning in. See you next time!
Go Deeper: Jan 12th, 2024, Improv skills for UX workshop with Frank Spillers (90 min)*
*Cost: $100 for non-members, free for UXInnercircle.com members; or get the recording plus the Improv for UX masterclass Frank taught in November (3 hrs content). Not a member? Join now, the first 30 days are free… cancel anytime.