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Our expert voices conversation about computers and creativity.

Human creativity has always evolved symbiotically with tools. New technologies such as ink and canvas let us create writing and painting. Well-tempered instruments allow us to explore music in multiple keys. Computers help us invent the digital arts, from the stunning visuals of a blockbuster movie to the thumping bass of an electronic dance party.

What's next: AI is the next step in the coevolution of tools and creativity. We can train these systems on thousands of examples of music and visual art until they learn common patterns, which can then be used by people as high-level controls with semantic meaning. Machine learning models can now blend different famous artistic styles, interactively manipulate sketch drawings, extend melodic compositions, and explore the sounds between instruments, discovering new sounds and sonic textures. In other words, AI algorithms are not just a set of new tools, but a new way to make new tools. Bottom Line: Artificial intelligence will transform the creative process of humans not by replacing human ingenuity, but by augmenting it with smarter tools that enable new avenues of expression.

Other voices in the conversation:

Go deeper

Exclusive: White House meeting with members of Problem Solvers Caucus

Members of the Problem Solvers Caucus discuss the COVID-19 relief bill in December. Photo: Oliver Contreras/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Top White House officials will meet Wednesday with a bipartisan coalition of House lawmakers as the administration tries to enlist moderates to support the president's infrastructure proposal.

Why it matters: The meeting is something of an olive branch after President Biden's team courted groups of progressives to back the $2.2 trillion package.

1 hour ago - Health

The new vaccine threat is fear itself

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The FDA’s decision to pause the use of Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine has set off a chain reaction of fear — about the safety of the vaccine, and about whether the FDA is overreacting — that's causing unnecessary drama just as the vaccine effort is finally picking up speed.

The big picture: Throughout the pandemic, the public and the media, and sometimes even regulators, have struggled to keep risks in perspective — to acknowledge them without exaggerating them, and to avoid downplaying them because other people will exaggerate them.

Cryptocurrency giant Coinbase heads to Wall Street

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Coinbase, the country's largest cryptocurrency exchange, is expected to go public today at what could be a valuation north of $100 billion.

Why it matters: This gives crypto a Wall Street seal of legitimacy, after an early existence marred by ties to illicit goods.