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I’m a Creative Director with Dyslexia, AI Takes My Creativity to Places I Never Imagined – PRINT Magazine

This guest article is by Gil Gershoni, co-founder and creative director of Gershoni Creative and the founder of Dyslexic Design Thinking.

I am a creative director with dyslexia.

In the past, seemingly mundane tasks such as sending an email were a challenge that took time and mental energy. I often spent over an hour dictating, reading, rereading, and asking a colleague to proofread before finally hitting send. Now, a simple prompt in ChatGPT magically transforms my thoughts into clear, concise words. What once took up precious time can be accomplished with one click, freeing my brain to focus on what it does best: bringing to life ideas and strategies that help my clients stay ahead.

This is just one example of how AI levels the playing field, allowing non-linear thinkers like me to communicate as effectively and efficiently as possible.

But for design and creative companies and professionals, AI offers an even deeper opportunity: the cognitive skills inherent in dyslexia, such as the talent to brainstorm endlessly, tackle problems from different perspectives and manipulate objects in the mind’s eye, allow us uniquely able to push the boundaries of generative design tools such as Midjourney, DALL-E and DeepArt.

This is a game changer. AI not only eliminates the logistical and communication barriers that have sometimes hindered the success of neurodiverse individuals in the workplace, but also allows people with dyslexia to leverage their inherent strengths and boost their creativity.

An example: You can present me – and most dyslexics I know – with almost any business challenge, and we can go on and problem-solve for hours. We use each other’s ideas as a springboard, challenge thoughts and work together on solutions. Our ability to parse problems from multiple angles, much like flipping a simple problem as if it were a tesseract, sets us apart.

This same mindset allows me to really push the boundaries of AI design tools. I thrive on playing with art directions, constantly adapting and refining them to bring ideas to life. For dyslexics, whose minds are often in overdrive, it’s like always having a tireless employee at your side, especially when you’re working to tight deadlines. AI steps in when my dyslexic brain goes haywire, allowing me to translate mental images into designs more quickly. By guiding the AIuse this relief, try this mode—I can speed up the creative process and make concepts come closer to reality as my mind envisioned them.

And isn’t that exactly what every agency strives for? In a world where ChatGPT can provide answers faster than you can say “Google it,” intelligence means much more than just knowing things. In our industry, successful strategies and campaigns are ultimately about imagination – something AI will never be able to master. AI does not stand for Artificial Imagination, because it comes from the human brain, which cannot be reproduced. And you can’t teach an AI to think like a dyslexic even if you tried. The magic of dyslexic thinking lies in the ability to break away from the norm and see things in a completely new light.

A good strategy or campaign is all about asking the right questions to solve problems and challenges. You have to know what you need to achieve and then dig deep. Those who use AI in simplistic and basic ways risk rehashing outdated ideas and strategies. After all, AI is programmed to be predictable and reliable. But the magic of human creativity lies in the ways the brain thinks unpredictably – the instances in which it fails to produce the same old tired answer to the same old tired question. And that is what dyslexics are very good at.

So what should agencies do to take advantage of this moment?

First and foremost, companies must fully embrace neurodiversity as a valuable asset in the workplace, rather than viewing it as a disability. Sir Richard Branson and the non-profit organization Made by Dyslexia have championed this idea by working with LinkedIn to allow people with dyslexia to showcase ‘dyslexic thinking’ as a skill on their profile. Branson himself added this skill to his LinkedIn profile, and I did the same. However, a 2020 report from UK employers found that 50% of HR managers admitted they would not consider hiring neurodivergent candidates. If you look at the top of every field, there is a dyslexic who has thrown away the rule book. Think of Steven Spielberg, Barbara Corcoran and Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad. Companies that fail to recognize this opportunity risk losing valuable talent to more forward-thinking companies.

Companies should also ensure that neurodiverse employees have access to essential tools such as ChatGPT, Grammarly, Co.Writer and VoiceDreamReader that allow them to communicate and work efficiently.

Finally, they should offer in-depth training on all AI tools, and consider creating specialized teams of neurodivergent employees dedicated to experimentation and innovation. These teams can build instructions, best practices, and workflows to unleash the full creative power of AI tools.

When I was ten, I became a professional magician, which became my creative refuge – a refuge from the confines of the classroom, where as a dyslexic I often felt out of place. It’s one of the reasons I like to say there’s a bit of magic in dyslexia. Now, with the rise of generative AI, I am more convinced of this than ever. When AI is harnessed to its full potential and combined with the unique strengths of dyslexics – strong problem-solving skills, unconventional thinking and the ability to tackle challenges from many perspectives – the potential for magic and unbridled creativity becomes limitless.

Images taken by the author.