Jun 1, 2017

Computers are already creative

Our expert voices conversation about computers and creativity.

Imagine a player of a given game is determined to become a world master. They devote their every waking moment to practicing the game, progressing from beginner to professional level, picking up the best techniques and tactics as they go. Finally, in a game against one of the world's best players, they come up with a move that goes against all the advice of the game's experts, which is so brilliant that it goes on to win them the game.

If a human managed that, you'd probably call the game-winning move creative. But what if it were achieved by a computer — like AlphaGo managed in 2016?

Creativity has no agreed-upon definition, but it's hard to deny that creative people are heavily influenced by their past experiences. Looked at like this, machine learning is already becoming creative: neural networks, influenced by the things they're exposed to, can come up with new music, art, poems, and board game moves.

Bottom line: Creative AI won't replace human creativity. Rather, in its ability to do things like find new uses for existing drugs, it will augment human creativity, changing the world for the better in the process.

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