There's no creativity bone, organ or gene, no creativity program, subroutine or algorithm. It is what Gallie termed "essentially contested": society has agreed to disagree, forever, about the nature of creativity. While this scares scientists like me, it doesn't mean creativity is beyond study or automation, and its un-definable nature is a huge driving force for humanity. We've spent 20 years writing software that takes on creative responsibilities in arts and science projects. From inventing original concepts for West End musicals to generating video games on-demand, software already makes artefacts of real value. Creative software can revolutionize society by being free thinkers and valued collaborators, and by helping people achieve their creative potential. We recently created an app, called Wevva, that enables people to make brand new video games in minutes, directly on their mobile phones. This is just the tip of the iceberg, and the next big wave of AI applications will no doubt be in semi-automated creativity. Ultimately, I want to write software which can itself argue about what creativity is.
Bottom line: Society will be enhanced by machines being creative for us, with us and despite us.
Other voices in the conversation:
- Jesse Engel, artificial intelligence researcher, Google Brain: Augmenting human creativity
- Simon DeDeo, complexity theorist and cognitive scientist, Carnegie Mellon University and the Santa Fe Institute: thy commitment, decorated with Joy, begins to speak briskly
- Ed Newton-Rex, founder and CEO, Jukedeck: Computers are already creative
- Tony McCaffrey, CTO, Innovation Accelerator: Computers and humans and super-creativity
- Oded Ben-Tal, composer and researcher, Kingston University: Our definition of creativity will change