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How Artificial Intelligence Will Help Amplify Human Creativity

Just as Google made us smarter, new AI will make us more creative.

Key points

  • The latest gee-whiz technology is DALL-E, a generative AI that can produce photo-realistic images and artwork.
  • Impressionism was a response to the invention of photography, likewise creative AI will drive a new schools of art to emerge.
  • These AIs will help generate ideas about both technique and subject matter, that could lead artists toward greater success
  • These new AIs can support your creativity to create better art, write better content, come up with clever names and brands.

The latest gee-whiz technology is an AI called DALL-E. It's a generative system from OpenAI that can produce photo-realistic images and artwork from simple text descriptions in natural language. Some would argue that AI should be used to do things like protein folding and tokamak field stabilization, for the betterment of humanity, but for an artist, this new technology is simply jaw-dropping.

The system can create anthropomorphized versions of animals and objects, combining unrelated concepts in plausible ways, rendering text, and applying transformations to existing images. It can modify viewpoints of a scene, from extreme close-ups to using a fisheye-lens view. If you tell the system to draw you “a painting of a capybara sitting on a field at sunrise,” it can infer that the scene needs a shadow that matches a sunrise. It can combine unrelated concepts, as in “draw me an armchair in the shape of an avocado.”

OpenAI, used with permission
DALL-E Generated Art
Source: OpenAI, used with permission

However, one of its most remarkable capabilities is that it can mimic specific styles of art with impressive accuracy. If you want images that look like photographs, it'll do that. If you want prehistoric cave paintings of an astronaut, yep, that's what it'll deliver. Try telling it to paint: “In the style of Van Gogh.” Or as a Renaissance painting, or pretty much anything you can think of. DALL-E delivers.

It is staggering what this computer algorithm can do. And by this, I mean mimicking human creativity, by producing unexpected results that are compositionally pleasing.

What Is Art?

It is now beginning to rock the art world. Art contests are now forbidding the entries that use AI and artists are once again thinking about the age-old question, “What is art?”

It’s good to remember that Impressionism was born after the invention of photography. When anyone with a camera could capture reality, people began asking, “Why do we need artists to draw portraits or landscapes?” This is what drove artists to break out of representational art and truly rethink what it meant to be an artist. DALL-E will do the same for artists today, it will drive a new school of art, that answers these questions at an even deeper level.

But much more is possible. It might be possible, someday in the future, for an AI to scan all of an artist's current work, and suggest diversities, or perhaps detect emerging themes. These detected themes could perhaps generate ideas about both technique and subject matter, that could lead to greater commercial success, or help artists focus their work on a more meaningful oeuvre. Or an AI could help form communities of artists to create a new movement in art, similar to what Paul Gauguin did to form the Pont-Aven school, a group of young painters who co-invented a style known as Synthetism, in Brittany, France, in the summer of 1888.

Getting Involved in the New AI

With this in mind, let's stretch our thinking about how these new types of AI might be useful to us today. Here are three things you can do now, to use AI to support your creativity:

For example, I asked Ryter to come up with a paragraph for this article, here’s what it came up with:

Yes, AI can help with all three stages of business creativity and innovation by providing assistance with problem finding, idea generation, and solution implementation. But the human key is passion. Passion is the willingness to commit time, energy, and creativity to an activity or project that has been chosen freely. But passion can be an important factor in innovation, but it has a downside too. When people are passionate, they tend to focus on their idea too much, which may result in tunnel vision and missing other potential solutions or ideas!

I have to admit, this is kind of promising; it certainly provides tangents for things to write about.

Don’t be afraid of empowering your future robot overlords, give these new AI offerings a try. Just as Google search has helped to create smarter humans, these new AIs are simply tools for humans to amplify our innate creativity. In fact, AI will not only lead artists to think about what art is, but it will help humanity think about what it really means to be human.

References

Artistic Creativity and the Brain. Semir Zeki. Science.

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