Is AI Creativity Possible?

Edmond de Bellamy's portrait was produced by a contradictory generative network fed by a dataset of 15,000 portraits spanning six centuries.

Edmond de Bellamy’s portrait was produced by a contradictory generative network fed by a dataset of 15,000 portraits spanning six centuries.
Image: Christies/Picril

Chloe Prece, ESCP Business School AND Hafiz elik, University of Bath

Is computational creativity possible? The recent hype around Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools like ChatGPT, Midjourney, Dall-E, and many more, raises new questions about whether creativity is a uniquely human ability. Some recent and notable milestones in generative AI fuel this question:

  • An AI artwork, The Portrait of Edmond de Belamy, sold for $432,500, nearly 45 times its highest estimate, by auction house Christies in 2018. centuries.
  • Music producers like Grammy nominee Alex Da Kid, have teamed up with artificial intelligence (in this case IBM’s Watson) to churn out hits and inform their creative process.

In the above cases, a human is still at the helm, curating the AI ​​output according to their vision and thus retaining authorship of the piece. However, the AI ​​image generator Dall-E, for example, can produce new output on any theme it wants in seconds. Through diffusion, where huge datasets are gathered together to train AI, generative AI tools can now transpose written sentences into new images or improvise music in the style of any composer, devising new content that resembles the data of training but they are not identical. Authorship in this case is perhaps more complex. Is it the algorithm? The thousands of artists whose work was scraped off to produce the image? The prompter successfully describing the style, reference, subject, lighting, point of view and even the emotion evoked? To answer these questions, we have to go back to an age-old question.

What is Creativity?

Second Margaret BodenThere are three types of creativity: combinatorial, exploratory, and transformative creativity. Combinatorial creativity combines familiar ideas together. Explorative creativity generates new ideas by exploring structured conceptual spaces, i.e. by modifying an accepted style of thinking by exploring its contents, boundaries and potential. Both of these types of creativity are not a million miles away from the algorithmic production of generative AI art; creating new works in the same style as millions of others in training data, a synthetic creativity. Transformational creativity, however, means generating ideas beyond existing structures and styles to create something completely original; this is at the heart of the current debates about AI in terms of fair use and copyright, very unfamiliar legal waters, so we’ll have to wait and see what the courts decide.

The key feature of AI creative processes is that current computational creativity is systematic, not impulsive, as its human counterpart often can be. It is hardwired to process information in a certain way to achieve particular results in predictable ways, albeit in often unexpected ways. Indeed, this is perhaps the most significant difference between artists and AIs: while the artists are driven by themselves and by the productAI is very consumer-centric and market-driven, we only get the art we ask for, which maybe isn’t what we need.

So far, generative AI appears to work best with human partners, and perhaps then, synthetic AI creativity is a catalyst for propelling our human creativity, augmenting human creativity rather than producing it. As is often the case, the hype around these tools as disruptive forces outweighs reality. Indeed, the history of art shows us that technology has rarely directly taken humans away from the work they wanted to do. Think of the camera, for example, which was feared for its power to bankrupt portrait painters. What are the business implications for AI’s use of synthetic creativity, then?

Synthetic art for business

On-demand synthetic creative, as currently powered by AI, is definitely a boon for business and marketing. Recent examples include:

The potential usage scenarios are endless, and what they require is another form of creativity: curation. Artificial intelligence is known hallucinated an industry term for spewing nonsense, and the decidedly human skill required is in making sense, i.e. expressing concepts, ideas and truths, rather than just something that is pleasing to the senses. Cure herit is therefore necessary to select and frame, or reframe, a unified and compelling vision.

Want to learn more about AI, chatbots and the future of machine learning? Check out our full coverage of artificial intelligenceor browse our guides at The best free AI art generators AND Everything we know about OpenAIs ChatGPT.

Chloe PreceAssociate Professor in Marketing, ESCP Business School AND Hafiz elikdoctoral student in management, University of Bath

This article is republished by The conversation licensed under Creative Commons. Read the original article.


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