If you work out of an office, you know that the coffee machine is the favorite spot in the office to hang out or have conversations at. From giving us the first cup of the day to keeping us awake for late-night meetings, that machine is a lifesaver. But just for a day, try not getting your coffee from the coffee machine. Don’t skip coffee entirely, but instead, go out to your local coffee shop that doesn’t use coffee machines or make yourself a flask at home. You will realize that hand-made coffee is inherently better than the one that is made from a machine. Not just making coffee, but highly creative jobs—like designing an outfit or writing a book—are considered best left to human creators. Many do not think that machines could emulate them. But with the takeover of artificial intelligence, this belief is steadily being challenged. Creativity and AI are together transforming many spaces that were traditionally reserved for the “artists.” In this article, we’ll be exploring these spaces and how AI is making a significant impact on them.
Creativity and AI Are Literally Changing the World
When you think “creative,” the first things that come to mind are music, poetry and novels. The best works in these three areas of art have been the results of human imagination and innovation. Every significant progress in these fields has challenged traditional ways of creating art and presented a new side to human creativity. For example, there was a time when classical music was considered to be the peak of musical art, but today, we see hip-hop and K-pop taking over the world, their styles and structures very different from classical music.
Poetry and prose, too, have seen similar shifts, especially in the ways they engage with people. Writers today are keen on connecting with the readers by using language that is relatable to them. Young kids would rather read a short story written by a Gen-Z influencer than Shakespeare or Milton, which they would struggle to understand.
So where does AI come in? What we know about artificial intelligence is that it functions on the basis of data. AI already knows the language that we speak and has the keywords that engage us. But does AI have the creativity to use this data and create a piece of content? Studies suggest that it indeed does! Back in 2011, the literary journal of Duke University published a poem that was created with the help of an AI program. An undergrad student at the university had modified the program that auto-generated the poem with stanzas, phrases and various other poetic elements. The editors of the journal were not aware of its creation as it was indistinguishable from poetry written by a real person. In the years to come, there were more such attempts to create works of art using AI. In 2016, Google reported that its machine learning system wrote a song. The Magenta program was attempting to create music and wrote a 90-minute piano melody through a neural network that was provided with only four notes. In the same year, a Japanese AI program wrote a novel that even passed the first round of screening for a national literary prize. While the novel eventually lost out to a human creation, the fact that it could even compete in the same category tells us that AI is becoming more creative. It is only a matter of time before AI will write songs, poems and novels that become more mainstream.
Apart from literary arts, AI is also taking on other forms of creative tasks. A simple Google search of “AI painting” will give you plenty of examples of AI-generated painting projects. A number of these paintings contain random brush strokes, with the final product resembling an abstract painting. There’s no telling that they were, in fact, created with the help of a robot. Other attempts at painting by AI have also had more definitive features, and one of them even sold for nearly half a million dollars. The painting was generated by a Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) algorithm and now sits at Christie’s auction house in New York.
Another area of visual arts that has undergone a revolution in modern times is photography. Everyone can click a picture now but the best pictures have the right frame, appropriate lighting and other important visual elements that make them stand out. Once these features have been fed into an algorithm, AI can easily capture a distinctive picture and even apply the right filters to it.
So if AI can capture images, how long before it starts making films too? The answer is that it already has! Back in 2016, director Oscar Sharpe fed more than a hundred sci-fi screenplays to an AI software, which then created its own experimental sci-fi short film. The result wasn’t an award-winning masterpiece, yet was inspiring in its own way. AI is already being leveraged in the film industry to write scripts, compose music and edit movies, and soon, it will be utilized to create a full-length feature film.
Creativity and AI Are Designing a New Future for Humankind
Now that AI already has its grip on copy, design is the next aspect of communication art that it is slowly taking over. With the help of consumer data, AI can create visuals that engage audiences and make them take the desired action. As AI starts recognizing patterns, its algorithm will not only create visuals that will appeal to the audiences but also give them variations in an instant. So basically, an AI-based software can do the job of a human being at a much faster rate with more effective results, negating the requirement of real people at the job.
Apart from graphic and product design, even the fashion industry is likely to see a significant difference with the growth of AI. One of the most polluting businesses in the world, fashion is now moving towards sustainable options, where AI can be leveraged at many stages of production. Additionally, AI can predict trends better and market the products to reach the right audiences.
While AI is making headway in marketing, can it be used to create new styles? In 2019, two women started the world’s first AI-designed fashion brand called GLITCH. One of their first creations was a variation of the “little black dress,” with a diagonal hemline and one regular and one bell sleeve. The dress was then shared on their website, where it received positive feedback from a number of women, encouraging the designers to experiment with more designs. Today, GLITCH creates thousands of designs inspired by trends in fashion, and even inspires its own trends. More brands are following suit and the day is not far when the clothes we wear will have been created by an algorithm that will be custom-made to fit our bodies and personalities.
Creativity and AI Are Whipping Up a Storm in the Kitchen Too
Remember how I started this with coffee machines? While I did suggest that hand-made coffee is better than machine-poured coffee, it seems that AI has taken over the culinary arts too. Some of you might even think that a robot could be a better chef because cooking is ultimately a science that requires the mixing of the right kinds and quantities of ingredients. And yet, two people with the same ingredients, following the same recipe, are likely to make dishes that taste different. The impact of creativity in cooking cannot be argued and AI is up for the challenge. In Bengaluru, India, an AI start-up developed Nosh—an app-driven robot that could cook about 200 dishes, ranging from starters to main course and even dessert. All you have to do is stock the robot with the ingredients, punch in your order, customize it as per your individual taste and have a fresh meal ready for you.
An AI robot that cooks can prove to be highly beneficial in today’s world, where people do not have the time to make their own meals. While Nosh was only programmed to make one-pot dishes, how long before an AI-driven robot can prepare a seven-course meal? It is only a matter of time before your coffee machines will be upgraded with AI to give you the perfect cup of coffee as per your needs and desires.
AI is expected to take over many jobs in the future and now, it is certain that creative jobs are not safe either. Creativity and AI have been working together for a long time, and we’re only just beginning to notice. AI’s primary function is to make human life easier and by taking over our spheres of imagination and innovation, it is only likely that AI will soon emulate human intelligence too.
Original post: https://www.forbes.com/sites/naveenjoshi/2022/01/06/can-ai-emulate-human-creativity/?sh=4de8d0381116&utm_content=buffer738c6&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer&s=09