We, humans, have the capability of creating, imagining, inventing something out of the blue, or so we like to think. Computers can only do what they have been programmed to do.
Yet, when neurologists look at the human brain, using advanced monitoring technologies, they tell us a different story, as I pointed out in the series of posts on self, selves and emerging super self.
A significant part of our decision process, that is involved in creativity since when we create we have to take decisions, takes place underneath our conscious self. Yet, it is a no brainer, excuse the pun, to say that our brain is able to create amazing things. Just look at the history of arts and at the beautiful masterpieces humans have created over their history on the planet.
At the same time, if I look at the artistic evolution (I am no expert) I see a sort of linearity with some leap here and there (like Giotto discovering that the sky was blue, whereas before him the sky used to be painted in gold…). I am making this point to highlight that even in areas that are creative by definition we usually are conditioned by our previous experience and creativity stems from a reinterpretation of that experience.
Creativity is the result of complexity, and in turns this complexity fuels imagination.
Why can’t a machine equipped with an artificial intelligence be able to do likewise? Indeed it does.
We may feel uneasy to admit that artificial intelligence can generate creativity, but I think that is the case today. AI is now based on very complex relationships among data, relationships that it has learnt to build autonomously. Actually, in several cases that complexity is beyond the one we can consciously manage.
There are now several examples of products, paintings, music, even poetry, generated by AI that are indistinguishable from the ones generated by humans (and way, way better than anything I would be able to create!).
The next challenge for us is to leverage on machines creativity to further improve our creativity, and we surely will, since improving on others’ creativity has driven the evolution through millennia.