New Working Paper Finds ChatGPT A Better Innovation “Ideator” Than MBA Students

Earlier this year, Christian Terwiesch, Mack Institute co-director and Wharton Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions, made headlines with his white paper showing that ChatGPT could easily pass a typical Wharton MBA exam. Now he and co-authors Karan Girotra, Lennart Meincke, and Karl T. Ulrich have released a new working paper showing that ChatGPT can generate higher quality business innovation ideas than MBA students at an elite university, and it does so at a faster rate and lower cost.

The abstract of the paper reads:

Large language models (LLMs) such as OpenAI’s GPT series have shown remarkable capabilities in generating fluent and coherent text in various domains. We compare the ideation capabilities of  ChatGPT-4, a chatbot based on a state-of-the-art LLM, with those of students at an elite university. ChatGPT-4 can generate ideas much faster and cheaper than students, the ideas are on average of higher quality (as measured by purchase-intent surveys) and exhibit higher variance in quality. More important, the vast majority of the best ideas in the pooled sample are generated by ChatGPT and not by the students. Providing ChatGPT with a few examples of highly-rated ideas further increases its performance. We discuss the implications of these findings for the management of innovation.

Download the full working paper here.