Why A.I. Can’t Replace Human Creativity
Sure, A.I. can write screenplays and compose music, but it can’t make human artistry obsolete
My fingers feel the smooth plastic on the keyboard as I type this sentence.
I hear the rhythmic clatter of the keys.
I know I am human.
But how do you know that?
The words you’re reading right now could have been generated by a machine. It’s possible some of what you’ve read today on your laptop or phone will have been written by a computer. Algorithmic journalism is already widespread and being used by organizations like The Associated Press, Forbes, and the Los Angeles Times.
Sophisticated programs called neural networks first learn the formulae of reporting and then ingest data to create original news articles that are indistinguishable from those penned by their organic counterparts. So far the programs tend to report only on stories that are data-based, like weather, sports, and financial analysis, but as the algorithms grow more sophisticated it’s likely that their reach will extend to every category of news.
And what about the more creative modes of writing?
It’s not hard to believe a computer can understand the relatively simple format of a football match report, but it’s never going to be able to write a novel or a screenplay. Is it?
Well, if you’re someone who works in a professional creative field, whether that’s as a writer, designer, painter, composer, whatever, you need to know that if there isn’t already an algorithm that does what you do, then it’s being worked on somewhere by someone on a computer right now.
Take a deep breath, my creative friends …
Three years ago a short film called Sunspring (which you can watch here) came close to winning the London Sci Fi Film competition. The screenwriter of the film was a recurrent neural network — originally called Jetson by its programmers, it renamed itself Benjamin during preproduction.