Computers have served humanity in different dimensions. We use them for communication, traveling, manufacturing and in hundreds of others fields. Today life without them is unimaginable, and as humanity is progressing rapidly in the twenty-first century, in a few decades, we might even integrate them into our own body. One of the most significant achievements in the field of computer science in the last few decades has been artificial intelligence which has opened doors to a truly unpredictable future. Some people warn about possible AI takeover while others point to the benefits that the world can accrue when they are used in collaboration with human beings.
Artificial Intelligence has led to the creation of fully-autonomous cars, AI pilots for commercial flights, Smart Personal Assistants and much more. Usually, technology has been used for tasks that don’t require creative skills, but recently that has changed as well. AI is now successfully creating music, paintings, poems, and it seems that in a few decades, we might even struggle to compete with computers and robots in creative pursuits as well. But the critical question still is whether is it a good thing or a bad thing? There will always be debates over this topic but even though with an understanding of the benefits that AI stands to provide we just can’t ignore its recent growth in fields where it was believed that AI could never outsmart human beings.
For decades computers and robots have been seen as tools to help humans in their creative endeavors, but now they are creative entities in their own right. The field of Computational Creativity has opened gates for computers to perform creative tasks by mimicking some facets of creative artistic behavior. The field of study deals with the creation of software that makes computers exhibit behavior that can be categorized as creative in humans. Such software has already granted computers with the ability to write poems, stories, paint pictures and invent mathematical theories.
Humans have historically struggled to accept machines that are touted as intelligent enough to outperform them, so the scepticism on the recent creative pursuits of computers is understandable. Even experts in the field of computer science have pointed out that it is impossible to mimic human creativity with the use of algorithms or information processing systems. But making such an argument implies that human creativity is something mystical that can’t be scientifically studied and understood. Since this is not true, we can explore human creativity and figure out a way to mimic it, and the exciting thing to notice is that it has already been done.
Computer written poems, stories, pictures painted by them all are proof that not only is it possible to make software using algorithms that can be creative, but it has already been done. The skeptics may choose to turn a blind eye to the recent developments, but that won’t change the fact that computers are now going to collaborate with human beings in their creative pursuits as well.
It might be hard to accept, but when it comes to creation, we humans are not being challenged by our own creations. In the last few years, there is a sudden emergence of hundreds of AI artists that have displayed their creative pursuits to the world. The complex algorithms have done something previously thought impossible; they have endowed machines with the ability to create unique works of art. The recent development is now raising questions about the nature of art and the place of human creativity in it.
Just last year Ai.Da, which is the first robot artist, has created spellbinding works of art with the combination of AI algorithms and her mechanical abilities. Her work was showcased in an exhibition held in Oxford in July 2019. Even though Ai.Da does not have thoughts, feelings or consciousness, but still, she was able to create breathtaking works of art. This has opened important conversations over the responsible use of technology for creative pursuits. The exhibition raises an essential question about how we human beings want to use the powers that we have? Are we ready to trade our freedom and rights for the benefits of the few? Or do we use technology to serve the needs of the majority?
The recent technological advancements are undoubtedly going to serve humanity if they are used in collaboration with human beings for the greater good. But the world needs to be wary of the potential harm that giving too much autonomy to machines can cause. If we are not careful enough, we might not just be looking at a possible job loses but a much more dystopian world where the needs of most people are not given due importance. There are too many people who will love to take advantage of such promising technology and use it for personal interests. Artificial Intelligence is the future, but that future is only safe if it is used in collaboration with human beings. Technology has always served humanity well when it has been used as an extension to human ability and limitations. When it replaces people altogether instead of working with them, we might then be looking at a much darker future.