Mack’s Christian Terwiesch and Karl Ulrich in the Wall Street Journal: “M.B.A. Students vs. ChatGPT”

Mack Institute co-director Christian Terwiesch and core team member Karl Ulrich have published an article in the Wall Street Journal detailing their research on on ChatGPT and idea generation. Based on a recent working paper, the article details their recent research, which compared business ideas generated by ChatGPT with ideas from MBA students. The results showed that ChatGPT generated higher quality ideas, and did so at a faster rate and lower cost.

From the article:

How good is AI in generating new ideas?

The conventional wisdom has been not very good. Identifying opportunities for new ventures, generating a solution for an unmet need, or naming a new company are unstructured tasks that seem ill-suited for algorithms. Yet recent advances in AI, and specifically the advent of large language models like ChatGPT, are challenging these assumptions.

We have taught innovation, entrepreneurship and product design for many years. For the first assignment in our innovation courses at the Wharton School, we ask students to generate a dozen or so ideas for a new product or service. As a result, we have heard several thousand new venture ideas pitched by undergraduate students, M.B.A. students and seasoned executives. Some of these ideas are awesome, some are awful, and, as you would expect, most are somewhere in the middle.

The library of ideas, though, allowed us to set up a simple competition to judge who is better at generating innovative ideas: the human or the machine.

Read the full article here (paywalled)