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Can Artificial Intelligence (Machines) Be Also Creative?

artificial_intelligence_robotI am hearing a lot about emergence of the new revolution of artificial intelligence, and that it will be exponential in comparison to the industrial revolution etc., but I am still hearing things like the individual will still have an edge in terms of creativity and innovation, since machines cannot think creatively!

The reality is that machines can also think out of the box, and can exceed by far the human brain in this respect. Machines can make the best artists and the best scientists and even explorers. There is no limit here.

Creative thinking is not like some secret gift but is a skill that can be learned and practiced, and can become a habit like many other skills. There are some five principles for discoveries and some forty known creative thinking techniques. A child can learn them as well as a senior person. They represent different process steps that can be programmed too, e.g as software. In fact, there is no clear line between intelligence and creative thinking, and the matter is fluid.

For instance one creative thinking technique is finding analogies and learning from them. The first step would be to define some main attributes of the thing. Then we take one or two attributes and seek other things that have same attributes. Once found, we go to this similar thing and learn from its other attributes, i.e. take them and combine them with the first thing. Example: an apple is a fruit and round. What is similar in such attributes? We find the orange. The orange can be squeezed to juice, hence we can borrow this attribute and make apple juice.

In ancient times, I have produced a software program and named it Columbus, which helps the user to generate new ideas in market environments, e.g. for new product development or business model or marketing strategy etc. I tried to sell this program for a while in the UK and the USA, but then something came up with other priorities. The program needed development and many potential clients wanted it to be more user friendly etc. The program was based on different principles of creative thinking.

Imagine a great artificial intelligence program with creative thinking capability being linked to the internet. I imagine it will be super exponential in terms of having thousands of Einsteins working simultaneously. Can machines have feelings too? This is history too.

About Dr. Stephen Sweid

Dr. Stephen M. Sweid is a business and innovation consultant and trainer, with over 20 years consulting experience on the international scene: Europe, USA, Middle East, and Far East. He has involved as expert consultant in technical assistance projects of international organizations as well as in consulting projects commissioned by multinationals. He is also an author on Flevy, specializing in breakout strategy methodologies: view his documents here.

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