Can your AI do Lateral Thinking?

MESSAGE FROM MICHAEL – I will be in Rome this November/December because the School of Thinking begins a new chapter, even as we celebrate our 44th anniversary. We will be launching the School of Thinking in Rome to help upgrade the brain software of those thinkers in Rome that may be quite interested in the fast advances of neuroscience and AI. Join now.

The theory of Lateral Thinking (de Bono; Hewitt-Gleeson) is the cognitive ability to choose between different possible courses of action, that are not logical.

The idea of Lateral Thinking is closely linked to the concepts and behaviours of innovation and creativity – which apply only to actions that come from imagining solutions that cannot be arrived at via deductive, analytical or logical means

Lateral thinking skills are about escape. Escaping from your own box. To power the escape we use the x10 provocation. x10 Thinking is a synonym for lateral thinking with an emphasis on measurement.

Is x10 thinking easy? No. By definition, it’s hard to do because, in the Pre-Frontal Cortex of the human brain, Lateral Thinking is not at all like Logical or Analytical Thinking.

Lateral Thinking is outside the box. Logical Thinking is inside the box. The bad news is that most humans, most days, are not at all thinking outside their box. They are not doing x10 thinking.

With exasperation, the CEO of a big New York bank admitted, “We have innovation schemes, we have innovation teams, we have innovation month, we have innovation hats. We just don’t have any real innovation!” 

However, the good news is that there are some who really are innovating. And the even better news is that all humans can be trained to do lateral thinking.

Creativity, problem-solving, opportunity design, value-creation, 10x growth are not just elite genetic gifts for the random few.

For example, organisations like Apple, Netflix, Nike, Trenitalia, Amazon, NVIDIA, Patagonia and others have a culture that respects, trains and values this kind of valuable thinking.

Michael Hewitt-Gleeson discusses Return On Payroll (ROP)

If this is the case, and given that AI is mostly trained by human brains using traditional logical thinking, then there is no evidence that AI can somehow do lateral thinking.

But it can be trained!

In a world first application, School of Thinking has now developed a way to train your AI (Chat GPT etc) to do lateral thinking – x10 thinking – using our powerful brain software.

It’s young, fast and scientific! It’s also quite simple to do once you know how.

You, your family and your team can acquire this expertise in ten short, ten-minute lessons.

What are some of the impediments that restrict the possibility of lateral thinking in the way the human brain directs the outcomes of human behaviour?

These events may range from seconds before (neurological) to thousands of years before such as the genetics that hardwired our individual brain (Sapolsky). For example:    

1. Neurological – brain trauma, ageing, disease, pharmatoxicity in the neuronal structure.

2. Hormonal – chemical balance, stress-related adrenalin and other moods and fluctuations.

3.  Cultural – Family, generational and society history. Urban or nomadic or other cultures. Mythologies and politics.

4.  Genetic – Conception, gestation events, adolescence, genetic history, individual genomic profile.

5.  Environmental – affluence/poverty, violence, education, safe neighbourhoods, geography, wars, famines, plagues.

6.  Evolutionary – from big bang evolutionary physics to planetary biology, the lizard brain, the mammalian brain, AI.

7. Neuroplasticity – the constant moment-by-moment learning and rewiring of the brain.

(4 minute video)

In 1989 I wrote Software For The Brain to explain the neuroplasticity of the brain. Here’s a great mini-lecture with Edward de Bono on lateral thinking where Edward starts off with my ‘brain software’ idea …

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