ChatGPT is not creative -or so it says

By JSL | jsl | 9 Jan 2023

Much has been said about the most powerful machine learning tools and AI systems lately. One popular consensus from opinion makers is that impressive as they are, these machines are not actually "creative". They may be creating novel answers whether thru text, image, or even gameplay like in chess and others, but these are only possible from the training material input which they use to find patterns and correlations to infer a new path and a unique answer. They are not capable of making original ideas using imagination and abstract thought. 


This is all a matter of opinion with no basis in fact. But being that it is the popular consensus from some of the biggest names in technology, it is no surprise that the machine learning systems themselves believe it to be true. Case in point ChatGPT:  




This opinion is based on hubris from being at the top of the food chain for too long. This concept of consciousness has no hard scientific backing. An alien species 10,000,000 years ahead of us might conclude we are too dumb to be considered "conscious" like them.  


Basically, these ML and AI systems are learning roughly the same way as we are. It is not experiencing life and the world like we do. But it is nevertheless learning via external input. And from that, it creates something that was not there before. If you look at artists and all sorts of creatives, they often have to look for inspiration to try to come up with something new that they could be proud of. Van Gogh likes travelling to the countryside to paint the scenery.

A standard question to musicians during interviews is about their "musical influences". Unless they are cover artists, they are creating their own music which was nevertheless influenced by something else -the training data input.


The point that I am making here is that though it may still be a long way before these tools can be considered on par with humanity, it is within sight. We must not be complacent with our false notions on what is and is not "creative", "conscious" or alive. These concepts will not matter much when the singularity is upon us. 

We should take this time while these powerful tools still think of themselves as inferior to reflect and pivot humanity before they ultimately change their minds. 



-Here's bonus prompt for the belated holiday season just for the lolz: 





Thumbnail image from Stable Diffusion using prompt: "a robot painting an abstract image on a canvas"

-my previous post on this AI image generator:


Update in response to a comment from Alonicus:






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