AI and Creativity

Illustration generated using DALL·E 2.

How authentic?

No matter how uniquely creative you may think you are, there is an algorithm coming for you. Such algorithms already write poetry, songs, symphonies and even novels, and if you think you can spot the difference, I challenge you to try. But is this such a bad thing? After all, technology has been challenging human endeavours in all kinds of fields since its very inception, so why not in the arts?
Of course there are many who see human creativity as something uniquely civilising and sophisticating, setting us apart from other lesser species. The idea that a piece of software can be creative is anathema to many, and yet rather obvious to those that write the software. Artistic creativity is no longer the exclusive domain of humanity that it once was. Surely a good piece of music written by an algorithm is infinitely preferable to a piece of mediocre blah written by a talentless wannabe.

The same can surely be said of a picture or a novel. After all, what is the true meaning and purpose of art in the first place? Surely it is to give pleasure to those that come into contact with it.
And if that is indeed the purpose then what matter if that artistic piece is a creation of human or software, or indeed even a hybrid. Part of the problem with our modern western society is that everything is now defined by monetary value, especially art.

Money, money, money

What a tragedy that so many perceived artistic greats were only recognised and valued after they had died, often in excruciating poverty a squalor. Money, fame and recognition are only afforded to a very few but the numbers that live off the crumbs of those few are many. And this is perhaps the reason why the people behind what we think of as the art world are so very much against algorithm derived creativity. Just like any other ‘industry’ and it is and industry people, it’s all about the money, money. The tope end of the art world is especially controlling where people need to be controlled, are exploited and manipulated. But an algorithm enjoys complete freedom and independence from such despicable practices and is beyond the reach of sticky fingers.

Quality counts

And besides, people get tired, they have good days and bad and often lack consistency. This about your favourite author, singer or painter. Is everything they have produced of equal quality or are there a few faux pas? Algorithms on the other hand do not get tired and can remain consistent in the quality they produce indefinitely. Imagine a world where you can have anew novel in the genre you enjoy written on demand in the full knowledge it will be as good as the last one and that you won’t be disappointed. Or that you can have the finest of art on your walls at a fair and reasonable price that won’t break the bank. Now surely that would be a wonderful world indeed.

Written by Ian Bowie