On the Potential of Computational Creativity

In the 19th century, Ada Lovelace, the world's first programmer, stated that computers, while they could do a lot, could never become creative. Computers, after all, were just algorithms. But today, computers have become so powerful that it seems almost inevitable that computers will become creative. In the movies, we see AI building new robots and creating better programs. But is this all just science fiction? Could we make a computer act like a human brain, creative and all?

First, we must affirm that brains are indeed computers. This can be proved with the following syllogism. The first premise is that a computer is defined as something that takes input and produces output. Input would be things like keyboards and microphones, and output would be sound and the monitor. The second premise is that the brain only takes input and produces output. This is true. Without any input our output, one can only operate on innate knowledge (which computers can have too, in the form of a had drive) and would not change its behavior. Therefore, from this, we can include that the brain is indeed a computer.

Now, it may be undesirable to call your brain a computer since it reduces you to algorithms, but it can't be argued. Your free will is computed based on how your inputs or internal thoughts influence you. It is impossible to act out of character unless you are thinking about acting out of character which would make you act in character. God can't make another God equal to himself.

Second, we must prove that the brain is creative. Newell, Shaw, and Simon describe four attributes of a creative solution: first, the answer is novel and useful (either for the individual or for society), second, the answer demands that we reject ideas we had previously accepted, third, the answer results from intense motivation and persistence, and fourth, the answer comes from clarifying a problem that was originally vague.

For the first attribute, we can conclude that this blog post is useful for me and I came up with this answer myself. For the second, my blog post rejects ideas of the brain not being a computer. For the third, I am motivated to create this answer. Finally, for the fourth, this clarified the concept that the brain is a computer. Any one of these four tasks are creative, so even having only one of these from a solution would make a thing creative. The more solutions an entity is capable of producing, the more creative the entity is. The human brain is creative because it can produce at least one of these solutions; it can even produce all of them.

So, now that we have these ideas affirmed, we can conclude the following: first, the brain is a computer. Second, the brain is creative. Therefore, computers can be creative.


Newell, Allen, Shaw, J. G., and Simon, Herbert A. (1963), The process of creative thinking, H. E. Gruber, G. Terrell and M. Wertheimer (Eds.), Contemporary Approaches to Creative Thinking, pp 63 – 119. New York: Atherton

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