May 12, 2023Liked by Alejandro Piad Morffis

Will AI kill creativity? The short answer is no, if you mean the brain's capacity to be creative. This is a biological feature of language: creative use. We can utter novel sentences effortlessly, which is what Descartes found so perplexing. It continues to baffle many bright minds.

The creative faculty of the mind at a cognitive level "above" or "below" language is barely understood. As a demonstration, after thousands of years of philosophy, there is no agreement about what is art. It is arguably the most quintessential form of creative expression. Within the gamut of ideas of what is art, it is perfectly feasible to argue that what an AI produces is not art, or one can equally argue that it is and in some sense it has killed human-generated creativity.

There is a body of literature about Conceptual Blending, which also appears to be a biological feature of the brain -- synthesis. At this level of description, it is perfectly feasible to describe Generative AI as being creative. It can certainly generate novel outputs based upon blends. I recently asked it to generate a rap song in the style of Ni**as in Paris by Ye, but about AI. The output was novel in the first sense of creative use of language, but also novel in the second sense of conceptual blending.

Indeed, the AI appears to attend to the circumstances (my request) with something appropriate to those circumstances. Had I asked a rapper, lyricist or poet to do the job, the output would have been similar in concept: taking words from one domain (AI) and inserting them into the rhythmic meter of the rap -- i.e. the AI is being creative in human-seeming ways, yet far more productively.

To that end, if we are asking whether or not human creative outputs will decline relative to AI creative outputs, then this seems almost a certainty because AI tools are way more productive.

What is left for the human creator? If art is just aesthetic objects, then AI will soon generate far more than humans and nothing is left for those whose skill is producing similar objects to be used for similar purposes. So then we are back to understanding what is art and asking how will its many interpretations emerge and evolve in as post GenAI world.

Different responses will emerge depending upon whether or not the viewpoint is one of pushing back against AI (e.g. perhaps placing a higher value on rare objects, like pencil drawings, or authentic experiences like live music) or embracing AI as another tool in the creative palette.

In a sense then, there is nothing new here because if art is about mastery of skill (e.g. painting a landscape), then new artists will emerge to become masters of AI-assisted production. Consider that anyone can write a prompt and generate an aesthetically useful object, so writing prompts is not what makes a "Generative AI artist" an artist. It's just what makes a regular person an image producer.

So we are back then to the most human of traits: the imagination. Whoever conjures imaginative ways of using AI will become the new art masters. I am not sure it's the right metaphor to say "the bar has been raised", but in some sense it is a truism.

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The bar will certainly be raised, at least in the short term. I can see this in my own articles. I’ve always wanted to write in my own style and not simply ape other Python tutorials, but now, I’m less likely to shy away from off-the-beaten-track ideas, looking at perspectives that are less obvious as generative AI can deal with those easily, anyway!

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May 19, 2023Liked by Alejandro Piad Morffis

Creativity can't really be automated right now ... any creative requires human/machine interaction. A human cannot be creative without technology. Technology cannot be creative without humans.

Sure, you can automate generation ... and maybe a machine will randomly create something new, but current AI technology won't be able to recognize it. Kirby Ferguson, author of Everything is a Remix, made some good points about this recently.

"Computers can now create but they are not creative. To be creative you need to have some awareness, some understanding of what you’ve done. "

Now if you are a human "generator," it might be a different story.


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May 12, 2023Liked by Alejandro Piad Morffis

Human creativity will likely move from the realm of thinking/reasoning within known problems or situations (this will become the domains of AIs) to imagination and emotional or irrational expression. Some of this creativity will fuel research and progress in science and some will be more conceptual and will define new ways to do art that are human specific.

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May 12, 2023Liked by Alejandro Piad Morffis

I view it as a "standing on the shoulders of giants" kind of situation: I'm hopeful that people will be empowered to realise their creative visions, though I do think there's a risk of people losing the value of creative *skills*, in the same way that people don't necessarily know how to build or maintain a car engine.

So I think ordinary people will become more able to take an idea through to execution, but may not learn, or even understand, what actually goes into it, and therefore may not be able to manually execute their vision themselves. That isn't necessarily a terrible thing however, I just think it's something which some will value whilst others don't.

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