Artificial Creativity

Margaret A. Boden Artificial intelligence has an Achilles’ heel. It can’t decide what’s relevant.It just so happens that this is a crucial skill where creativity is concerned. Take computer-generated art. Such work has been well received in many prominent settings over the past few years—Ernest Edmonds’s wonderfully colored interactive pieces (shown alongside Mark ­Rothko’s canvases) in the 2007 ­“ColorField Remix” exhibition in Washington D.C., for example, and Richard Brown’s Mimetic Starfish, commissioned for the opening of London’s Millennium Dome, which the Times of London described as “the best thing in the Dome.” But those artworks didn’t depend on a subtle appreciation of relevance. The Edmonds work is abstract: vertical stripes of ever-changing colors, with no representational content whatsoever. The Starfish, which brings to mind real-life animals and movements, and even…


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