Continuations: Machine Creativity: Possibly Sooner than Anticipated

AlphaGo has won its series in the game Go against grandmaster Lee Sedol 4-1. I wrote an initial post about AlphaGo after its first victory against a lesser ranked player. Humans have very big brains compared to the neural networks used by the program which shows that humans are unlikely to be able to use much of their brain for any one specific task. This, combined with the ability to run machine networks fast and against a lot of training data will make this technology formidable for many tasks.

Many people have been claiming that creativity will be one area in which machines will not be competitive with humans any time soon. But it is not clear that this is true. Creativity is related to the process of conjecture. Every new design, new text, new scientific theory, etc is a conjecture of a possible future state. The human brain is very good at coming up with such conjectures.

But here too we should notice something: if you want to come up with a new architectural design it helps to have learned a lot of existing designs. Einstein read a lot of the work of other physicists. Put differently the first step in creativity and conjecture seems to be observation and training of a network based on that.

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