Can AI (artificial intelligence) be creative?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is on everyone's mouth. From the greatest threat to humanity ever, to the sheer wit that builds mono-themati intelligence, it is described. Everyone expresses their views, expresses their concerns and observations.

14th Aug 2019
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No wonder the theme has just arrived at the Peak of Inflated Expectations in the Gardner "Hype Cycle". Inflated Expectations are just my thing. So here are my dystopian hopeful views on the subject. Of course, and hopefully this is the new thing, from the point of view of a creative whose job is more or less threatened by AI, depending on your point of view.


Short Stocktaking: What does AI do today to shine creatively? For example, she can paint pictures that look like images of a particular epoch. To achieve this, the machine is fed with as much input as possible on the specific topic and then something similar comes out. Many Impressionists in, a new image in the style of impressionism out. The same thing works with poetry, where the AI ​​is able to write poems that sound as if written by humans. And those indistinguishable from the reader are from verses of living poets.


AI can even film trailer, for the feature film "Morgan". All highlights of a film are perfectly cut together for this purpose. Of course, this happens in this case on a data-based basis and not according to gut feeling. The result is also here a trailer, which looks like any other movie trailer and cannot be distinguished from the viewer. So AI can do so much so well that at first glance we can no longer distinguish the result from a man-made result.


But that's not all. AI can do some things even faster and better than us. For example, write e-mail headers. Within a few seconds, for example, the Phrase program produces hundreds of headlines in different tonalities. These headlines are written from different perspectives and even weighted by the effectiveness and probability of opening the mail with this or that header. Since a copywriter has to stew long enough at the desk to get it all done. And even if he'd like to write that plethora of headline alternatives for a single mail header, he'd quickly get into trouble with capacity planning. Because with so much effort, the whole e-mail business would not pay more.


"Artificial intelligence stays with everything you give it, inside the box"


AI takes over chatbots for us. That's a good thing, because no one has the desire to answer the many messenger offers and inquiries by hand. When a chatbot is well done, the AI ​​learns and develops something like empathy. For example, with a recipe bot, the AI ​​remembers whether you're a vegetarian or not. And once you say you do not like peppers, you will not get any recipes with this ingredient.


AI can do much more, and this list is constantly expandable: it helps us with image recognition, it independently produces local radio spots with special offers. AI even designs chairs and Philippe Starck is only allowed to watch. And AI does a lot of PR. So there are various examples where you can make the AI easy and bring the nonsense that comes out of it to the transmitter. This creates a lot of fuss. Burger King, or car maker Lexus, do just that. They simply let the AI produce something about burgers or driving and then convert that one to one into moving image. Without the addition at the beginning of the film that all this was produced by an AI, everyone would just shake their heads. Thus, depending on the point of view, the result is Dadaistically entertaining or reassuringly stupid and simple.


AI has blossomed so. From a little helper to a more or less full-fledged partner. A partner who can relieve us of many tasks so well that you can not say in the end whether man or machine has made this together. But everything that AI can and does remains within a certain framework. It is based on parameters that were previously set. Exactly what an AI was fed with input to can so far be reproduced, that's it. An AI who can play chess can not spit out any recipes without paprika. An image recognition AI can tell me whether a chair is visible on a picture, but it can not design a new chair.


AI stays with the tasks you give it inside the box. If you look at our communication landscape with these considerations in mind, that often seems to be completely sufficient. In the short to medium term, AI will be able to take on many of the tasks that are still called creation tasks today. Because these are all implementations that remain in their respective box - quasi variations of a theme. Be it a typical cream cheese ad, a typical e-market radio spot or a typical early bird travel banner. When looking at an average ad block, it's great fun to think about what the input should be for AI to come up with such results. Here is the kit for an inside-the-box beer commercial: Somehow landscape, a few types, at least three, and a pithy saying.


Does the AI ​​take over our jobs? Will not creatives be needed in the future? Are we all the same as the poor email header copywriter outperformed by a machine? Of course that can happen. If we can do what the machine does, the machine will replace us. Because it is cheaper and faster and can do without a works council and trust working hours.


But I think we can not do enough to make the machine. We need more communication and ideas and also chairs that AI would never come up with. We need drumming gorillas who promote chocolate or "I'm on a horse" for a cheap men's fragrance. We need more communication that is out of the box. Communication that surprises us, that may even disturb us the first time. Which makes us thoughtful, which we can not forget so fast. And we can out of the box.


"If we can do what the machine does, the machine will replace us"


We have the great advantage that the fund from which we can draw is infinitely larger than even millions of data records of a machine. All our memories and formative moments, successes and failures. All the things we can connect to make something new. Only the human brain can do that. That can not imitate a machine yet. We just have to use it. The machines take the work from us, which we want to deliver. And we use the time gained for really special things.


Nick Cave also said it takes people to create something special. Asked if AI can ever create really good music, he said, "I just don't think that when we hear 'Smells Like Teen Spirit', we just hear the song. It seems to me that we are actually hearing the journey of a closed, lonely young man starting in the small American town of Aberdeen. And we hear Iggy Pop being carried on his hands by his audience and smearing himself with peanut butter as he sings the song '1970'. We hear Beethoven composing the 9th Symphony almost deaf. We hear Prince, this pile of purple atoms, singing in the pouring rain at the Super Bowl and squeedying the audience with it. What we are actually hearing is the human limitations and the daring to transcend them. AI does not have this ability, despite its unlimited possibilities."


So let us use our human limitations and the daring to transcend them.

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