The 20-60-20 rule

Artificial intelligence (AI) does not come to displace us in our work, but to free us from the burden of the most tedious tasks, allowing us to focus on what really brings value: creativity and decision making. This is the basis of the 20-60-20 rule, which explains how work is distributed between humans and machines in the creative and productive process.

The first 20% of the work is essentially human and focuses on creativity and ideation. At this stage, the challenge is to ask the right question or make the right request to the AI. ChatGPT, for example, cannot supplant the human creativity needed to initiate a project. This is where creative talent, a solid cultural background, and tenacity in research are required. This is the time to come up with the idea, grounded in deep knowledge and the ability to pursue a goal with determination.

The 60% intermediate is where AI shines for its efficiency, taking on repetitive, time-consuming and slow tasks. In this segment, AI is capable of writing, drawing, creating videos and, it is anticipated, will soon be developing games. This is because we already have tools such as ChatGPT, for writing; DALL-E, Midjourney and Stable Diffusion, for illustration; and video generators such as Sora, which facilitate the production of complex content combining text, images, video and game rules.

Finally, the latest 20% becomes the exclusive domain of human ingenuity. This phase focuses on the revision and refinement of the work done by the AI. It is here that the persistence of creativity, knowledge and tenacity are valued. The human being intervenes to correct, request adjustments, discard or, finally, approve and publish the result as his own.

The 20-60-20 rule clearly illustrates the symbiosis between humans and machines in the creative and productive sphere: while the first and last 20% underline the irreplaceable importance of human creativity, knowledge and perseverance, the intermediate 60% highlights the ability of AI to optimize processes, freeing us to focus on what really matters.