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Reweirding: The World of AI-Powered Creativity at Conway Hall

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Time 19:30
Date 10/03/20
Price £8

Are computers truly creative? Or are they merely tools to be used by musicians, artists, and writers? In this talk, Arthur I. Miller will take you on a tour of creativity in the age of machines.

Today’s computers are composing music that sounds “more Bach than Bach,” turning photographs into paintings in the style of Van Gogh’s Starry Night, and even writing screenplays. But are computers actually and truly creative?

Miller, an authority on creativity, identifies the key factors essential to the creative process, from “the need for introspection” to “the ability to discover the key problem.” He talks to people on the cutting edge of artificial intelligence, encountering computers that mimic the brain and machines that have defeated champions in chess, Jeopardy!, and Go. In the central part of the book, Miller explores the riches of computer-created art, introducing us to artists and computer scientists who have, among much else, unleashed an artificial neural network to create a nightmarish, multi-eyed dog-cat; taught AI to imagine; developed a robot that paints; created algorithms for poetry; and produced the world’s first computer-composed musical, Beyond the Fence, staged by Android Lloyd Webber and friends.

But in order to be truly creative, machines will need to step into the world. He probes the nature of consciousness and speaks to researchers trying to develop emotions and consciousness in computers. Miller argues that computers can already be as creative as humans—and someday will surpass us. But this is not a dystopian account; Miller celebrates the creative possibilities of artificial intelligence in art, music, and literature.

Arthur I. Miller is Emeritus Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at University College London. He is the author of Colliding Worlds: How Cutting-Edge Science is Redefining Contemporary Art and other books including Einstein, Picasso: Space, Time, and the Beauty That Causes Havoc. His book The Artist in the Machine: The World of AI-Powered Creativity will be available to purchase on the day.