Creativity: Humans vs Artificial Intelligence

Creativity: Humans vs Artificial Intelligence

Creativity is a wonderful thing that appears throughout nature in a wide variety of forms. It’s not something limited to humans. We take a lot of nature’s creativity for granted, often dismissing it as “nature” but in order to exist “nature” or whatever you want to call it had to create it in the first place.

The creation of a home to live in and safely produce offspring, methods for hunting and storing food, even activities that could be categorised as creative arts such as dancing and visual decoration are all examples of creation found in nature.

An android thinking at a keyboard

Above all life on the planet, humans undeniably express the most creativity and show no sign of slowing down. Thoughts create new things and those things go on to create new thoughts which then create new things repeating over and over. It doesn’t have to be linear either.

For example: The tin can is created. A handy creation that allowed longer term storage of food. They were difficult to open therefore lead to the creation of a can opener. Can openers are redesigned and improved and eventually a can opener gave someone an idea to create an electric version. That would be a linear progression as the creativity is focused on simplifying the opening of cans.

One day while using the electric can opener the oscillating whirring sound of the internal gears running inspires a musician to create a new song. While not related to the can that was created for food storage but, that song would not have been created if it wasn’t for the creation of the tin can in the first place.

Our creativity has come so far that we’re now in the realm of creating things that are capable of creating original things of their own. Enter Artificial intelligence (AI).

Even though it’s been around for years, artificial intelligence has suddenly hit mainstream and become the latest hyped conversation. There is a growing fear shared by some that AI will eventually take over and rule over humans. There’s countless number of fiction stories describing such scenario and it is quite possible that it could happen but I think we’re still a long way off that unfortunate situation becoming a reality.

There is also some concern that AI creations will discourage or slow down human creativity, causing us to be lazy and relying entirely on AI to create the things we need. I don’t think that could ever be the case. Humans are just way too creative.

Decades ago musicians and music aficionados argued over the relevancy of synthesizers, drum machines and electronic music in general versus music created using traditional instruments. There was fear that the art of playing instruments would be lost and the quality of new music would deteriorate horribly. Music couldn’t be more diverse than it is today if it wasn’t for the creation of those new tools.

AI is creating music now too and because we’ve become so accustomed to hearing digitised music, it is virtually impossible to know if it was created by AI or not. Is that going to be a problem in the future? I can see only one, perhaps two, not just related to music creation, and I’ll get to those shortly.

There will always be someone with a desire to learn to play a particular instrument. There will always be someone with a song in their heart that they want to share with the world or a vision in their mind they want to see in reality. There’s countless stories people want to share both real and fiction. Humans will always be creative creatures no matter what technology comes along. Photography hasn’t stopped people drawing and painting has it? Nothing but extinction will slow us down.

So what are the two problems I see with artificial intelligence?

The first one is probably no surprise. It’s the potential for AI to replace humans in the workforce and deny creative ownership of artwork. Publishers may not require copywriters and authors to create content and instead utilise AI for that task. AI can reduce the cost of original artworks and may limit the price an actual artist is able to ask for their work. Designers, artists, musicians, engineers even computer programmers themselves could be effectively replaced by AI.

That has a scary tone to it however, there is still something that AI is incapable of replicating which will ensure that there will always be a market for human originated creativity. That is our “X factor”.

The human “X factor” is something that’s hard to describe but, we all feel. It’s an emotional feeling that varies in each and every one of us. Think about how you’d feel listening to an old gramophone record being played while sitting by an open fire in a comfortable leather chair, how you feel listening to an old transistor radio, a high end stereo system, MP3s on your computer or phone. The feelings are all different.

The same applies to visual art when you think about it. You can already spot the difference between human and digital art, between an oil painting and a print.

I expect there will be a boom in AI created content for a few years and just like all fads, it’ll eventually just be another way things are done but, it’s highly unlikely due to our “X factor” that it will be the only way.

In the long term, it’s my belief that AI creations will actually increase the value of things created by humans. Don’t we already treasure a hand crafted, bespoke coffee mug over a mass produced mug from a general store. I’m undoubtedly sure, there will be job losses as AI becomes more widely used in the future. Even non AI technology has done that many times throughout history but, as new things do come about all the time there will be a new skills to learn and activities that require us in order to work.

The other problem that could arise from AI creativity is the question of ownership, credit and royalties where they would apply. We celebrate authors of popular books, composers of popular music and the artists who create popular artworks.

How do we celebrate the person who delivers us a great piece of work created by AI and who is the true creator that should be acknowledged and perhaps rewarded?

If someone with a computer and no artistic talent can enter a few requests, have AI generate an artwork portfolio to rival Salvador Dali and that artwork goes on to become famous and popular, do we celebrate the human or the AI? Humans generally acknowledge their influences, usually with gratitude. Isaac Newton once said “if I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Who would AI acknowledge and is it really necessary to do so? Albert Einstein didn’t think so and look how highly he is still regarded today.

Time will eventually sort all of that out just as it always has. Dynamite replaced workers with picks and shovels by reducing the time it took to create a hole but, required skilled explosive experts and safety officers etc. Bulldozers replaced even more but required operators, maintenance workers, factories and suppliers of parts to exist creating more jobs. “nature abhors a vacuum”

I really don’t know how disruptive AI is going to be in the coming years but until I have my Jetson’s style flying car and a jet pack, I’m not worried about any horror scenario painted in science fiction stories.

If you are interested in AI Copywriting for content creation for articles, a blog, a website, video script or even a creative story, I can highly recommend checking out Recent posts by the Jounce team have hinted that future versions will include image generation as well.

I’ve been testing a beta version of Jounce over the past few weeks for generating various content and it really is an amazing tool and simple to use. You choose from a variety of templates, input a command, prompt or request and in seconds, Jounce generates quality content that can copied and pasted into your favourite editor or modified using the build in document editor.

Sometimes Jounce generated content that isn’t relative or even correct so, I’ve had to rephrase some of the prompts entered a few times to get the type of content I’m actually after. Even if a little “junk” needs to be removed and some of the output rephrased, Jounce has proven itself to be an incredible time saver overall and will only get better in time as the natural learning process gains even more training just by being used.

It’s going to be a given that I’ll be writing more about Jounce in the future. For this post I wanted to prove the point that regardless how creative AI can get, humans will always be in the creative sphere too so, I wrote this entire article from my own thoughts without using AI to assist.
AI did create the images though ;p