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  • Mira Yossifova

Can AI be creative?



Artificial intelligence is already revolutionizing our everyday lives. It is embedded in many aspects of reality and will continue to be so.


But can it surpass human consciousness and creativity? Can it be creative on its own?


Ada Lovelace is the person that has put the foundation of today's code. She states that a machine is ultimately limited: it can do whatever you order it to do, but no more. A machine will forever have limits: you couldn't get out more of it than you put in.


Now it seems that we are on the way to proving Ada wrong. Machine learning has proved to be the way AI could reach and eventually surpass human intelligence. So, one day a machine will be able to put out much more than humans have put in.


Machine learning is practically a bottom-up approach to coding that enables the machine to learn independently as a child learns about the world around it.


With that in mind, do we believe that creativity will be the last domain entirely up to humans? Will AI be able to surpass what Marcus du Sautoy calls in his book "the human code"?


To answer these questions, we should first define what creativity is. Creativity and innovation are the human traits that enable us to create something new, surprising, and valuable.


What would mean for an AI to be creative is that it would break the barrier between humans and machines in performing acts of creativity.


Another thing is that given the state of development of AI and algorithms, they are good at one thing, one scenario, but when they encounter some strange fact, they just ignore it. People are better at spotting out-of-the-box scenarios. And because data is never good without knowledge. It is the context that gives its meaning. This is where humans are better than algorithms, for now.


As we know, the creative process is a product of our experience. When we face the next generation of AI, we will have to answer questions like: could creativity and intuition be programmed? Can AI express emotion? Aren't emotion and imagination a byproduct of our life experiences? And if so, can AI really be creative? Can a machine produce a meaningful work of art in any field when it doesn't have a life experience or has never felt the urge to express itself through its creations?


What algorithms can do today that we can't is assess enormous amounts of data and make sense of it. This, combined with our human capabilities to spot patterns, could be a gigantic step forward. We simply can't process such amounts of data that algorithms can, probably because our brains are limited only to our personal experiences. And due to our evolutionary boundaries, AI will most likely complement us rather than replicate or challenge us.


As machines progress to creativity, a part of them will hinder their way to fully being creative. Creativity emerges thanks to conscious or unconscious decisions a sentient being makes. So, until we reach that state of AI development, it is probably safe to say that creativity will be a part of the human domain. The current lack of consciousness and physical embodiment of AI restricts it from experiencing the full potential of the creative process. But the symbiotic experience could enhance the creative process to a level never before reached by humans.


In the end, machines could be precisely those that will help us break our molds and everyday routines and be more creative. I genuinely believe that the future belongs to those who can combine human creativity with the immense powers of AI.


"No doubt computers will assist us on our journey, but they will be the telescopes and typewriters, not the storytellers." - Marcus du Sautoy, "The creativity code"


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