Computational Creativity

Algorithms, Art, and Artistry

Authored by: David J. Gunkel

The Routledge Handbook of Remix Studies and Digital Humanities

Print publication date:  February  2021
Online publication date:  February  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367361426
eBook ISBN: 9780429355875
Adobe ISBN:


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As technologies of various sorts and configurations encroach on human abilities, the one remaining bulwark of human exceptionalism appears to be art and artistry. Artificial Intelligence (AI) might displace human beings from the mundane tasks of driving cars and trucks, translating between languages, or recommending consumer products and services. But these systems are programmed and controlled by human designers, developers, and users. This was the point of what Alan Turing called “Lady Lovelace's objection.” As Turing describes, a computer has “no pretensions to originate anything. It can only do whatever we know how to order it to perform.” 1 For this reason, it seems a safe bet that computers, algorithms, and AI will automate a wide range of the routine and repetitive activities in many areas of human endeavor. But—so the argument goes—they can never and will never be able to do something inventive, innovative, or inspirational. They will never be able to create art and produce something completely new and original. Right?

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