Creative AIs

I’ve been thinking about the new wave of creative AIs. When will AI be able to take over many of the jobs? It is coming, the question is when. How long until AIs go from iterating (which is primarily what they are doing now) to revolutionizing? That is the real trick with art and creativity in all things. Not just thinking about how to build a better mousetrap, but how to build a house that is mouse proof.

Part of that is you can try a thousand revolutionary things and you’ll be lucky if one of them takes off. Revolution is so much harder, and based on so many other components. But AI might be good at looking at the market trends, at taking in millions of factors, the change in weather, the downturn of the economy, the last revolutionary shift, etc. Take all that into account and it might be able to go, ok here are the 40 potentially revolutionary books that might shift everything. And yes, there might be hundreds of other books or movies or whatever like that, but you just need to be the right one at the right moment to create that entire shift in the way the market is, or to create and entirely new market.

Recently there was the Rembrandt thing, before that the Japanese novel, I was sure that some AI somewhere was creating music.

Emily Howell

This is from 2009 so yeah, that’s been a while. She’s gone on to release more records as well. And yes, Emily Howell is an AI. She builds compositions, takes in feedback and adjusts based on if people thought it was good or bad.

Also every article I read absolutely called this AI by the name the programmer (David Cope) had given her, and also calls this AI ‘her’. Which, yup! I am too.

I don’t think either the Rembrandt AI or the Japanese Novelist AI had gendered names. I hope somewhere out there someone is doing a study about what impact using people names for AI has on our brains and interactions with them. (Bonus Rap Bot)

New Rembrandt

New Rembrandt made by creative AIs and humans. Lots of humans.

MS AI makes a Rembrandt knock off

This doesn’t personify the AI at all, it talks a lot more about the team working with it than the actual AI. It sort of talks about how the team (of humans) uses the AI as a tool. Which is a very different take on the whole thing from Emily.

They really talk about it like they are doing this as an extension of Rembrandt. Would you be comfortable with someone taking what you do now and coming up with what happens next? It does happen plenty now.  (Wheel of Time anyone?)

Is it very different to have someone else finish a work rather than have an AI do it?

Japanese AI Novel

This is another instance of it really being about the human team working on the project.

Though people are calling for the end of authors because of this.

Do you welcome AI overlords?

The basics of this seem to be that the human team did an outline and some basic development and then the AI filled it in. This is sort of like the AI ghost wrote the novel. If you could get an AI to ghost write your idea would you? (Although I don’t think that it “almost” won an award. It got past round one, it was not the runner up.


  1. Elizabeth

    Creative AIs scare and excite me. Don’t really want humanity to be obsolete., but there is so much potential. As with all technology, capable of so much good and so much evil.

    1. Mariah Avix

      I agree about the possibilities. But it really boils down to humans. Humans make AIs, humans program AIs, we are the ones who make the decisions. AI will be exactly as good or evil as we want it to be. We can’t blame AI for how it is programed. I hope that it will really help people who have great potential but are currently having trouble because they haven’t had access to education, or they have learning disabilities or whatever to be able to really use some of the new tools to be able to do what they want. Some of this is already there. Say someone can’t write but can tell amazing stories, being able to give them the tools to write a book with the right software (which you can get on your phone!) is kind of incredible.

  2. Stefan Budansew

    I think you are leaving out one very recent and very interesting (from a societal view) AI.

    Recently Mickey-soft unveiled an AI that would chat with the public via tweets. They then had to turn it off because.. well.. it seems that people in the big-bad interwebs are not the best parents for a naive AI.

    Without any filters and any context of morality – the AI was twisted and bent into becoming basically a reflection of the skuzzy underbelly of the interwebs.

    The bigger interesting point is – when AIs do start taking over significant portions of our society – look at how we treat them. It’s pretty scary to take a step back – sure there are good people everywhere – but there are also twisted (whether benign or malicious) there are the idiots.. the ignorant. And really.. there are alot of us.

    Humans may need AIs to ‘save the world’.. but do AIs need humans?

    1. Mariah Avix

      I left Tay off this list because she’s not really a Creative AI, she’s more of a customer service AI, and we’ll see lots more of her and her siblings very soon. I also did a bunch of reading about Facebook’s model for chat bots. I feel like Tay is much more like one of these chat bots than like the creative AIs.

  3. Johanna Reller

    I wonder what AIs would look like if animals were their primary interaction? How would the animals react and how would the AI develop, react, learn, etc…

    1. Mariah Avix

      Hm. I think this is a hard question because those animals aren’t anywhere near building ai. But also because I don’t know that we have the capacity to truly see something from what would basically be an alien point of view. We have a hard time empathizing with other human cultures. Humans building and ai and sticking it in an entirely…ant environment it would still be tainted with human thought processes.

      Now if we did a neuron by neuron replica of an ant brain is that ai?


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