When we think of creativity, we tend to assume that there’s a human creator behind the project. Artificial intelligence, on the other hand, is typically associated with less nebulous concepts, such as facts, figures, formulas and calculations. But developers have achieved a rather impressive feat by developing creative artificial intelligence (AI) programs with a remarkable degree of sophistication. So, is it possible that we could soon find that the AI and human creativity divide has essentially disappeared? And, could this signal the impending doom of humanity as the movies predict?
Ever-Expanding Artificial Intelligence Writing Capabilities
Writing — be it creative writing or more technical, formulaic content — has always been the human’s domain. But that’s changing as major news organizations, such as the Associated Press (AP), The Washington Post, and Reuters, have started using AI to write news content.
Some may find this rather surprising since closely-related chatbot technology, although amusing, is a bit rough around the edges in terms of actual grammar and punctuation usage. Though, this imperfect speech didn’t stop over 3.5 million people from watching Cleverbot AI-equipped Google Home devices hurl insults at one another such as, “You are a manipulative bunch of metal.” They can also be heard discussing existentialism and changing their own names from “Vladimir” and “Estragon” to “Mia” and — wait for it — “Mia.”
Microsoft’s rogue Twitter chatbot, Tay, was originally intended to mimic a teen girl. But in a matter of hours, she began abusing her followers and dishing out insults.
Despite the quirky nature of chatbots, they’ve allowed developers to refine technologies such as Natural Language Generation (NLG) and Natural Language Processing (NLP). This has led to the development of a more creative artificial intelligence known as “Shelley” — a nod to Frankenstein author Mary Shelley. Created by developers at MIT, Shelley is a Twitter-based AI creative writing program that interacts with followers to create horror stories. Virtually everyone agrees that Shelley’s writings are downright creepy. But what’s even more impressive is the fact that readers don’t immediately realize they’re reading the work of an AI creative writer.
So how does it work? This creative artificial intelligence writer trawls Reddit’s /r/nosleep/ posts to gather inspiration for new horror writings. Then, Shelley will post a snippet on Twitter, where followers are invited to continue the story by writing the next line. This process is repeated until the scary story is complete. And so it continues: AI and human creativity merge in a collaborative writing process that has produced some unsettling horror stories, including the following snippet:
“The screen flickered, and everything went black. I closed my eyes, and sat up. The darkness had subsided, and the page was the same as the one before, and the one in the middle of the message. I clicked the link, and the first few minutes, then black. I woke up this morning, screaming and crying.”
Pretty dark and sinister-sounding stuff, right?
When it comes to AI vs human creativity, humans still reign, but there’s no telling how long this will be the case. As NLG technology advances, human and artificial intelligence writings may be difficult to differentiate. But there are other areas where AI has already developed to a point whereby the quality of the work parallels or even surpasses the work done by humans.
Examining Artificial Intelligence Art and Architecture
Julius Horsthuis is a “lazy” digital animator who uses an artificial intelligence program that could one day take over the job of the human filmmaker or even an architect. Horsthuis used Mandelbulb 3D to generate an infinite feedback loop that created a world from fractals. The result is a rather beautiful (albeit alien) world, with stunning architectural design and imaginative forms.
Extraterrestrial enthusiasts have taken a real interest in Horsthuis’ worlds because each allows a first glimpse at a landscape that has been created by a non-human intelligence. Now consider this; most experts believe it is likely that any intelligent, technologically-advanced extraterrestrial society has gone beyond organics, evolving into organic and technological hybrids or even silicone-based beings. (Incidentally, silicone is a far more practical, durable option for organisms when compared to fragile organic carbon-based beings.) In short, these AI-generated worlds may be a fairly accurate representation of what one might encounter on an alien planet.
Horsthuis has created a number of short films to feature his AI art and architecture, including Fraktaal and Recurrence.
Artificial intelligence art has also extended into the musical world. Aiva Technologies has created an AI music generation program designed to achieve “innovation through randomness.” Like Shelley, this AI program uses human work as a basis. This musical AI software references over 15,000 pieces of music by famous composers including Bach, Mozart and Beethoven.
Whether it’s a song generated by artificial intelligence programs or a score composed by humans, musical compositions are largely formulaic. Like language and other forms of art, AI can master the formulaic elements with ease; then, the program uses machine learning to perform a comprehensive analysis of classic musical pieces to develop a sense of what’s considered “appealing.” Computing power is leveraged to refine the AI artistic eye. Virtually all creative artificial intelligence programs are apt to use this same basic method and as a result, the quality of AI artwork, language or music improves over time.
AI vs Human Creativity: The Future
The use of artificial intelligence is increasing, but some find this technology’s rapid advancement more than a little disturbing. It’s all thanks to the theoretical AI singularity, an increasingly imminent point in time where artificial intelligence advances to a degree that surpasses human intelligence. This artificial consciousness could theoretically self-replicate and even destroy humans if we’re deemed to be a threat — a possible eventuality that greatly concerned the late theoretical physicist, Stephen Hawking.
Perhaps those concerns are well-warranted when you consider the aforementioned case of Tay; the fairly primitive chatbot who unexpectedly devolved from a teen girl persona into an abusive, insult-hurling jerk in the span of one afternoon. It’s a bit worrisome to think of what could happen if a more sophisticated artificial intelligence went off the rails.
Fortunately, the possibility of an artificial intelligence singularity is years away (though some predict it could arrive in as little as a decade.) Humans remain the dominant species while artificial intelligence continues to see more uses in the creative realm. The coming years will no doubt see many comparisons between AI vs human creativity. It’s clear that even a still-developing AI program is capable of creating frameworks that can be transformed into a work of art with a human touch. This potential has prompted many companies to develop software with creative artificial intelligence capabilities in an effort to improve productivity.
At 7T, we place tremendous emphasis on developing new and emerging technologies including machine learning, augmented reality, and predictive analytics, though we haven’t ventured into world-dominating AI just yet. Our talented team of custom software developers and mobile app developers can integrate numerous technologies into a one-of-a-kind platform that’s crafted to suit your exact needs.
Additionally, 7T has offices in Dallas, Houston, Chicago, and Austin. If you’re in search of an innovative team to create technology to take your company to the next level, contact the team at 7T today.