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Our expert voices conversation about computers and creativity.

The more we understand how something was made, the less willing we are to think about it as a creative process. Therefore, almost by definition, we are reluctant to ascribe creativity to the output of a computer program. Of course, creativity is not just in an output (a poem, a song, a building) but is also our evaluation of it as viewers or listeners. Consequently, we are likely to redefine what is really creative away from what computers currently do (just as we are no longer impressed by computers who can beat us in chess).

As we get computers to produce more interesting results, what we need to ask is this: Will we allow ourselves to see beauty in a computer-generated image? Can we engage with a story even if we know it was created by a computer? As an artist, I am interested in new ways of composing music with the assistance of a creative machine; in the strange and wonderful encounters that might happen when a system has enough knowledge of the complex set of behaviors we call music.

Bottom line: The interesting question is not one of definitions; it is about how we will make this technology work for us.

Other voices in the conversation:

Go deeper

Making sense of Biden's big emissions promise

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Biden's new U.S. emissions-cutting target is a sign of White House ambition and a number that distills the tough political and policy maneuvers needed to realize those aims.

Driving the news: This morning the White House unveiled a nonbinding goal under the Paris Agreement that calls for cutting U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 50%-52% by 2030 relative to 2005 levels.

Biden pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 52% by 2030

U.S. President Joe Biden seen in the Oval Office on April 15. (Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

The Biden administration is moving to address global warming by setting a new, economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 50% to 52% below 2005 levels by 2030.

Why it matters: The new, non-binding target is about twice as ambitious as the previous U.S. target of a 26% to 28% cut by 2025, which was set during the Obama administration. White House officials described the goal as ambitious but achievable during a call with reporters Tuesday night.

2 hours ago - Health

Health care workers feel stress, burnout more than a year into the pandemic

Photo: Steve Pfost/Newsday RM via Getty Images

More than a year into the coronavirus pandemic, some 3 in 10 health care professionals say they've considered leaving the profession, citing burnout and stress, a Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll out Thursday indicates.

Why it matters: Studies throughout the pandemic have indicated rising rates of depression and trauma among health care workers, group that is no longer seeing the same public displays of gratitude as during the onset of the pandemic.