Creativity in the Information Age – AI in the IA?

Artificial Intelligence in the Information Age? Inconceivable!

Creativity is the Great Enabler of our prosperity.

It has always played an oversized role in Knowledge Work and the rise of the booming Professional Work era. Every influential product, business or market over the past 50 years that has made a difference in society has embodied creativity. It separates the leaders from the followers. Creative ideas companies are the drivers that continue to innovate and blaze new trails.

However, creativity remains elusive. It refuses to be coined, defined, or put in a box, let alone distilled, reverse-engineered or manufactured.

But is creativity the result of nature or nurture?

Can it be captured, synthesised and replicated?

As AI emerges and challenges human creative output, we must ask – is this the end of creativity (and our prosperity) as we know it?

Will the machines (finally) beat us and become our creative over-lords?

What will happen in the Future of Work when AI becomes prevalent?

An over-optimistic (or pessimistic, depending on where you stand) 2017 University of Oxford study predicted that 47% of US jobs could be eliminated by AI by 2033. A prediction that now seems increasingly an improbable outcome. Then again, we’re only halfway to 2033, so who knows, the second half AI-Team might be a different beast, looking at how fast things can change in the AI world.

Will AI become sentiently creative? 

The short answer is, I don’t know.

What I do think is that in the creativity race between humans and machines, people are still ahead.

Humans still find ways to outsmart AI in seemly counterintuitively simple ways. Maybe it’s because the AI learning models are still quite rudimentary and underdeveloped. Admittedly it is still early in the race, and AI is nowhere near those in sci-fi like HAL, TARS or Roy Batty. Nevertheless, science and destiny seem to point inevitably to AI beating RS (Real Stupidity), which remains the greatest threat to the future of the human race.

More importantly, will AI play a crucial role in creative work today enough to displace creative workers?

The early evidence does seem to point to AI enhancing people’s creativity rather than upending them. Here are some encouraging stories and examples of the use of AI that would bring a smile to your face…

I personally believe that the current era of AI is reminiscent of the digital and electronic revolution of the 80s and that it would do us well to embrace and enjoy the ride. I know because I was there!

How could AI be incorporated into Coworking spaces to enhance creativity and innovation?

Coworking spaces are inherently creative because they embrace multiculturalism, the collision of ideas and values, and shared knowledge. Also, coworking spaces come naturally imbued with curiosity, the desire to experiment, and creative people who embrace and pursue change – whether through technology, new ideas, novel ways to do things, or simply tinkering to stimulate problem-solving. With AI, these can only be amplified and magnified.

Since 2012, we’ve made all 3 sites at LaunchPad unique and ideal workspaces for creativity. These include Maker-Space’s use of cutting-edge collaboration tools like virtual digital whiteboards and AI-enabled 360deg conference cameras. In addition, we’ve already begun incorporating elements of intelligence into our spaces and amenities. These include climate control systems, smart systems for administration and human-powered systems like our Inspire Team room.

I can’t wait to see what else the AI revolution and LaunchPad members who embrace AI come up with for us to explore and innovate next. If you have an idea you want us to try out, contact Jeremy or me today.

David Thomas
Graduating as a Computer Scientist from Monash University and later qualifications in International Business and Marketing, David Thomas joined Hewlett-Packard as a Researcher. Cofounding Australia's first .com (OSA), the company became Australia's largest exporter of software in the early 90s and the creator of one of the first Internet Banking Systems (Deutsche Bank AG). As Cofounder of LaunchPad, he specialises in business impact and helping member organisations grow.
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