Will AI Ever Be Capable of Creativity?

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The robots are coming. They’re coming for your jobs. But fortunately, not all of your jobs. While it’s true that automation is taking over specific tasks at a terrifying pace, there is a glass ceiling for AI, and no, they can’t break it.

So, what jobs are safe from the massive influx of robot workers?  Creative jobs that require empathy. In fact, it’s safe to say that AI will never be capable of creativity. Creativity requires a soul, which a machine will never have.

Can AI corner the creative market?

No. But, and this is the good news; AI will make creative types more productive. How so? Take a look at programs like Grammarly and Scrivener. These programs have helped millions of writers plan, plot, and edit their work.

Recently, Google’s AI division developed a machine that was programmed to learn from its opponent. The machine could run more possible chess board scenarios than there are atoms in the universe. Pretty impressive. The machine played a best-of-five round of chess against world champion Lee Sedol. Sedol won the first round. But, the machine quickly learned and bested him in the remaining four games.

While a robot can measure ingredients for a cake. A robot cannot create a new recipe that tastes good. A robot cannot build something, paint something, or otherwise create art. Art resonates from the soul. Anything that involves memorization or diagnostics is ripe picking for the robot workforce. But if the task requires empathy to do well and right, it’s out of their purview. For example, a robot could take over a surgeon’s job. It can’t take over a nurse’s. A robot can vacuum your carpet. It can’t pick out and design an interior that’s cozy and pleasing to you.

While AI may be faster than people and can retain and cross-reference facts better than a human, it only operates in binary form. The situation for AI is either win or lose. It is either right or wrong. Black or white. AI cannot discern shades of grey. Human beings, as creative creatures, operate in a constant state of shifting perspectives and emotions. Creative pursuits, which most jobs are, require you to see things through multiple, empathic lenses. It comes down to passion and emotion. And humans engage with each other on an emotional level that AI will never be able to duplicate.

So good luck to us (and them). My money is on us! (But if we're gambling then the robots will likely be able to figure out the mathematical chances of that better. ;)