14th March 2018

Can creativity be automated?

Repetitive tasks are now completed by machines, with the job landscape set to change in the short-term future as we see the adoption of automated systems become the norm in the workplace.

But can the fundamentally human gift of creativity be automated in the same way?

Some believe so. David Cope, a professor at UC Santa Cruz has been working on music-making algorithms for over 30 years. He can feed music into machine learning algorithms that create new compositions by changing and building on patterns it finds in existing pieces. Cope argues that building on past work is what great composers have always done, so he insists this is machine creativity.

Others think differently. Business analyst, Mike Fitzsimons sees creativity as being “about the infinite… about things that you’ve never thought about and making connections that have never been made.” He argues that machines currently only automate what’s already known, and so cannot be truly creative.

Creativity is still a human trait, but who knows what the future holds as AI advances closer to sentience in the decades to come.