Can artificial intelligence be creative?

What is creativity? Does it require a human brain? Emotions? Intelligence? Human intelligence? If so, is it a virtue reserved only for humans?

Basics of creativity

Creativity is the ability to look at ordinary things and problems and see them in a new way. It’s looking at the world from an uncommon perspective. Creative people aren’t just artists, they can be regular people who don’t seem to think to be creative themselves. They exist in every sphere of life, and in the business world as well. A business executive who has never painted or made music or had any “creative” hobby can have a very creative mind and be able to find extraordinary and innovative solutions to problems he faces by examining the situation from new angles and thinking outside of the box. One assumption that people make is that individuals who aren’t creative as kids are just not creative and will never be creative. But creativity is a skill like any other, and it can be practiced. While some people have a natural talent and are predisposed for this area as it is with many other skills, it can still be learned and improved, through various creativity exercises and methods. So, if we can teach humans how to be creative by approaching problems from new and different perspectives, can we also teach AI to do it?

AI and the creative process

Certain Artificial intelligence technologies have the capacity to learn patterns, others can learn rules, and even though AI doesn’t “think” like we do, it can analyse, process and combine information it receives even faster and more efficiently than humans. There are examples of AI being used to enhance many creative processes, such as composing songs, analysing the visuals and composition of movies and creating pieces of art after being shown thousands of pictures and paintings. We can tell AI what is or isn’t beautiful and give it many examples, and it can learn from our input, but then isn’t it only learning from our input and merging existing data, instead of creating something truly new? But then again, aren’t humans also acting based on research and life experiences when they create as well?

The future of creativity

Creativity still isn’t completely understood even in humans, and especially not when it comes to AI. While people may or may not agree on the deep-learning process of AI being actually creative, or just an educated behaviour based on thousands of examples, for now we know that it could help us improve many processes and enhance our own creative ideas. And concerning the future development and some better explanations of the theory of creativity in both humans and AI, things are bound to evolve even further.