Characteristically, creative people see things differently than others. They have the ability to examine a situation from various angles and visualize unique concepts and solutions which, in our history, have led to some of the most ingenious inventions, creations and ideas that continue to impact our world.

Leonardo Da Vinci, Nikola Tesla and Albert Einstein represent some of the most influential thinkers and creative visionaries in our culture. These men were multi-faceted creatives, inventors, mathematicians, philosophers, physicists, painters, musicians and more. Their curiosity was inspired and pervasive across many disciplines.

By contrast, artificial intelligence deals with programmed logic. AI software simulates and accelerates processes such as data gathering and problem-solving that assist humans at home, in their work and entertainment.

Designed to be logical and systematic, AI cannot be curious, impulsive or spontaneous. Algorithms are coded by humans to process data in a specific way to achieve a certain result. These are well-defined sets of sequential instructions and the AI’s actions cannot deviate from those.

AI and creativity are fundamentally different concepts. Human creativity is subjective and unpredictable. When an artist, chef or inventor is inspired to create something new, there’s no telling how the ideas will manifest or what the result might be – this is an unexplained process.

Computer programs that direct AI to gather and interpret data are typically used where accuracy is required, such as in medical research, engineering and finance. Today, even algorithmic artwork is commonplace and plays an important supportive role in graphic design, 3D modeling and video software.

Creativity isn’t something that can be reduced to a set of equations or a mathematical formula, it is a uniquely subjective human process that is fluid and open to many interpretations. AI is valuable used as a tool to augment human productivity as it can automate certain tasks to make the creative process more efficient. For example, it can scour the internet for images and data to help with brainstorming.

“AI-generated” art is still based on data parameters entered by a human. In 2018, an AI-generated painting called “Portrait of Edmond Belamy” was sold at Christie’s Prints and Multiples art auction in New York for $432,000, making it the first artwork made “entirely” by AI to go up for sale at a major art auction. It was generated from the data sets of 15,000 portraits painted between the 14th and 20th centuries. Take a look – what do you think?

In 2019, Microsoft teamed up with tech company Fourkind and Mackmyra Whisky to create the world’s first “computer-generated” whiskey. The whiskey, named ‘Intelligens’ is described as AI-generated, but human-curated, so the decisions and recipe are ultimately made by a person. Intelligens AI:01 Single Malt Whisky – Mackmyra Swedish Whisky

In the industrial design world, Philippe Starck collaborated with Kartell Furniture to create the first AI-assisted chair design. Once the designers and engineers enter their parameters, materials and manufacturing methods, the software generates all possible solutions.

Artificial intelligence is prevalent in the lives of millions of people in a slew of products and assistant technologies in use today. Thriving industries exist related to personal data collection which is embedded in the algorithms. In the best interest of both users and providers, advancements in artificial intelligence must be monitored closely and evaluated for accuracy and intended results, as well as to protect privacy rights, and prevent social and political bias, and misuse.

As a creative who uses AI daily, I’m aware that my data is being collected and often sold for profit. I honestly never read the voluminous terms and agreements, but I should. We all need to be more informed about the corporate strategies behind the terms and agreements and system updates, and how they affect us as users.

Today AI achieves computational creativity by combining data sets fed into the algorithm. It is a systematic process, and not an inspired one. Generative AI works best with human partners by serving to augment human creativity, and not to replace it.