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Can We Write Creative Computer Programs?

As Robert J. Marks tells World Radio, people have tried making computers creative but no luck

Recently, Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks was interviewed at The World and Everything in it on the ethics of artificial intelligence. He and hosts Nick Eicher and Mary Reichard talked of many things, including art, privacy, and immortality, but one subject that came up, first raised in an earlier interview with World Radio’s J. C. Derrick, was:

Derrick: Well, one thing that’s also been discussed is the possibility that AI could eventually outsmart humans—advance beyond us. Do you see that as any sort of possibility?

Marks: Computer programs, in general, do not have the capability of being creative. And in order to write a better computer program, you have to display creativity. And that creativity can only exist if the programmer places that creativity directly within the computer program, which means that the computer program itself is not creative. It’s actually the computer programmer, which is supplying that creativity.

So that’s where any creativity comes from—any smarter program. Somehow I don’t believe that it will happen.

I also know that people who looked at writing smarter programs using genetic algorithms and evolutionary programming have abandoned their search in large because they’ve tried a bunch of different things and nothing seems to work. They can’t get smarter programs that way.

But I also know people that are very excited about trying other ways. I don’t think they’re going to work, though.

The podcast, aired July 24, 2019, is here (Dr. Marks’s portion starts at 10:59). Here’s the complete transcript.

Dr. Marks will also be addressing these topics at the COSM technology summit, October 23–25, 2019, in Bellevue, Washington.

Here are some of Dr. Marks’s takes on recent AI news items at Mind Matters News:

Random thoughts on recent AI headlines: Google gives away “free” cookies… Also, why AI can’t predict the stock market or deal with windblown plastic bags

Random thoughts on recent AI headlines (March 18, 2019): There is usually a story under those layers of hype but not always the one you thought

and

Top Ten AI hypes of 2018: More help, less hype, please!

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Can We Write Creative Computer Programs?