AI-Generated Creativity: Should We Be Concerned?

By August 24, 2020Blog Posts
AI-Generated Creativity Should We Be Concerned

A few days ago, I received a link to an article titled “Artificial intelligence vs. human authenticity: are creative jobs in danger?” Since then, I have been pondering the concepts of artificial intelligence, creativity, art, work, danger, etc.

The article starts by listing the following facts we all know, that is, neural networks can upstage people in many ways, they are obviously better and quicker at analyzing massive arrays of data, and they are keen on spotting the subtle differences and details. It mentions the result of a reading comprehension test conducted in 2018 in which neural network bested humans. The machine was able to answer over 100,000 questions from the Stanford Question Answering Dataset, and it read over 500 Wikipedia articles and beat a human by 0.136 points.

Discussing Artificial Creativity: Not A New Thing

For me, the unique feature of the species I belong to is to be able to develop vehicles and AI is one of them. Humans have been working and discussing artificial creativity as well as artificial intelligence for over 170 years. In 1843, an English mathematician named Ada Lovelace, considered the world’s first computer programmer, wrote: “A machine cannot have a human-like intelligence only as long as it does what people specifically program it to do.” According to Lovelace, for a machine to qualify as intelligent, it must generate original ideas. The Lovelace Test, formed in 2001, offers a way to probe this idea. For a machine to pass this test, it must produce an output that its designers cannot explain based on their original code.

Rensselaer philosopher and computer scientist Selmer Bringsjord argued that the iconic Turing test for human-like intelligence in computers is inadequate and easily gamed. That is, merely sounding enough like a human to fool people does not establish human-like intelligence in the product; it may point only to superior cunning in the creators. He pioneered the much more challenging Lovelace test, based on an observation from computer pioneer Ada Lovelace (1815–1852) that real creativity distinguishes humans from machines. I don’t have any idea if they can pass the Lovelace Test but, from the links below, you can listen to AI-generated compositions and see AI-produced paintings.


AI-Generated Music

Computers are also good at music (this shouldn’t be surprising considering that music has a mathematical background). EMI (“Experiments in Musical Intelligence”) is a program developed by David Cope, who devoted decades of his life to producing automatic composers. EMI has composed original works in the style of many famous composers. In the music Turing tests asking, “Which of these two works is Bach’s, which one is the machine, guess? ” has managed to fool many music lovers over and over again.

Here is a sample of AI-generated music composed by AIVA Technologies.

AI-Generated Painting

At this video, which focuses on reproducing paintings with 3D printing, a deep learning model is used to determine the optimal mix of colors.

Aaron draws and paints portraits of human figures out of its programmed “imagination” – no images or additional human input necessary. While Aaron doesn’t take any image as input and rely on object definitions encoded by Cohen, Simon Colton’s The Painting Fool, takes photo libraries and moods” as input and produces pictures that are compatible with that emotion.

The Common Concern: Will AI Leave Us Unemployed?

The works created by Artificial Intelligence are not limited to music and painting. There are also articlesbooks, or movie scripts. All these examples come along with a concern: Does Artificial Intelligence, which we hear every day about surpassing people on many issues, will leave us unemployed? If a machine could do my job without eating, drinking, getting tired, striking or getting paid, how will I make a living? How, in what ways will society change?

In history, there have been several revolutions in which humanity has jumped due to the changes in technology radically transforming the world.  Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions changed almost everything from social structures to religion. In the long run, they increased the human population and common welfare. Can we expect the same happy result from a new transformation where people will massively transfer their jobs to machines?

Let’s Be Positive, But Be Prepared As Well

Considering the developments in science as a whole, they have always positively changed the state of humankind. Clearly, AI technology can bring us all far better, with a few other technologies going through similar revolutions in the 21st century. People who can use their smartphones intelligently can lead to more comfortable and productive lives than others. Older generations are disrupted by the inability of young people to put their phones away. But I think it will be normal for new versions of humanity to enrich the body with a global communication link and some kind of additional brain that provides information and intelligence on a scale that a naked individual could never have.


To read more about AI, creativity, the current state of AI vs. human creatives, product design, and creative process, I strongly recommend that you look at the article here. I feel close to the conclusion of the article, that is, we must be prepared. Accept the inevitable and prepare for it. Pivot your career to a place where AI will not replace but rather complement your human function. According to a study based on interviews with creative professionals working in design, illustration and imaging, motion graphics, and UX/UI design, creatives are generally on the same line. They don’t fear being replaced by robots; most don’t fear that their jobs will ever be replaced by AI, although they recognize that the ways they work and how they spend their time will change.

Author: Çağrı Doğan, Accessible Products Consultant, Sestek