Constructing Artificial Intelligence constitutes a feat in and of itself, but producing artificial creativity is entirely next level. Creativity can be defined as “the ability to make or otherwise bring into existence something new, whether a new solution to a problem, a new method or device, or a new artistic object or form” . A crucial word within that definition is “new.” I want to focus on several ancillary ideas that may help clarify where the boundaries of “newness” and “creativity” lie.
Returning to the word “unpredictability,” I propose that within this context we think of creativity as the ability to produce something unpredictable. While this is a loose and relative term, it relates back to established ideas concerning AI’s capabilities. Although an interaction with AI might lead to something novel and unpredictable, human contribution continues to be necessary in order to prevent stagnation. Looking again at the example of Harold Cohen, creativity arose from the discourse between human and machine . Cohen experienced bursts of energy that arose from his dialogues with AARON, and they formed a unique partnership that strengthened Cohen as an artist and established him as a pivotal figure in the movement of artists working with technology.
However, Cohen believed that AARON’s work without him would be “original only in a very limited sense” . When Cohen stopped providing information to AARON, its potential output became self-contained, isolated, and prohibitively limited. Zylinska states that creativity may in fact be as simple as a change in an organism’s response to its environment . Lacking the ability to ingest experiences beyond Cohen, however, AARON could never achieve creative independence. This example illustrates one of the primary limitations for machine creativity—an essential reliance on human arbitrators for any form of long-term development.