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TECHNOLOGY

Artificial Intelligence Might Increase Your Creativity in the Future

Creativity is innately human, but maybe AI can help.

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BY Molly St. Louis - 29 Nov 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Art, in its many forms, is essentially an expression of the human experience. A great piece of fine art can move us to laughter or tears; a great piece of advertising can move us to buy. So it probably comes as no surprise that humans with creative jobs will not be replaced by artificial intelligence, according to most recent studies.

However, this doesn't mean that "creatives" will carry on business as usual in the age of the smart computer.

According to Tiger Tyagarajan of Genpact, virtually every job will be altered in some way by the proliferation of AI and human workers will soon find themselves interacting with, and often depending on, their machine teammates in order to do their job. This includes creatives like graphic designers and writers.

Now, some diehards might not be so willing to embrace artificial intelligence, as the very thought of a "robot" performing creative tasks goes against everything we've been taught about artistic expression. But when you consider the amount of research, beta testing, and (sometimes) guess work that goes into creating a piece, as well as the amount of content that has to be cranked out on a daily basis, AI assistants might be a welcome entity into creative departments.

Example. For a writer, there is nothing worse than staring at a blank page for hours - wondering where to begin. I've found that this happens A) because the writer does not truly understand their subject or how they feel about it or B) because the writer is overwhelmed with a breadth of information and can't figure out where to begin. Writers block and procrastination can potentially be cured by AI.

As the Washington Post experimented with last year, machine learning can be used to gather relevant, accurate facts and put them together in a draft. This could give writers the starting point they need to help them understand their subject and what is more important about it. The writer, then, could give it the human finesse it needs to appeal to their audience. One might say that eliminating the "busy work" and arming the writer with more data might just lead to greater creativity.

This type of AI assistance needs to be used with caution, however. sciNote recently released an AI-powered writing technology for scientific papers, which raised questions about online plagiarism. If the technology were to take specific pros from other writers and reposition them in an article, there could be a huge problem. It's still very important for writers using AI to run their pieces though the appropriate programs to ensure their work is 100 percent original.

Artificial intelligence is even touching graphic design. The Grid, for example, uses AI to design full websites, because, hey, it's fast and cost effective. However, the designs are not as refined as a human could create, as pointed out by their reviews. Seems that technologies such as these would be a great "assistant" to a real live artist, helping to give them a starting point to create or see certain designs in a new light.

Using artificial intelligence can feasibly help us create informed pieces and at greater volume. Obviously its a work in progress, but the advancements are pretty amazing and will inevitably shape the future landscape for creatives. We should embrace this.

As Tierney Bonini and Paul Donoughue point out in a recent interview about artificial intelligence and creativity, "Artists have always used tools to create their work: for Van Gogh, it was a paint brush; for Henri Cartier-Bresson, a Leica camera." Perhaps artificial intelligence is going to be our tool for greater creativity.

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