Can An Algorithm Be Creative?

Forget Facebook manipulating our timelines as a mass social experiment, or Google mining our personal emails for advertising keywords. When it comes to algorithms, nothing gets the blood boiling more than the subject of creativity. Questioning whether an algorithm will ever create a work of art on the level of a Franz Kline or Franz Kafka (or, hell, even a Katy Perry) is enough to have many people fleeing for the hills to smash up some looms.

But the reality is that algorithms are already playing a big part in the creative industries — and this will only increase over time. In my book The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems — And Create New Ones, I discuss Epagogix, a London-based company which uses vast artificial brains called neural networks to challenge screenwriter William Goldman’s famous assertion that “nobody … knows the least goddam [sic] thing about what is or isn’t going to work at the box office.” While it may be true that one person alone cannot predict hits and misses with total accuracy, Epagogix’s data-mining and deep learning algorithms have shown that they can accurately forecast how much money a movie is going to make at —> Read More Here


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