Stalwart Creativity: An Argument Against A.I.

Henri Matisse once said, “Creativity takes courage.” Without creativity, some of the most useful tools we have today would never have been invented. Artificial intelligence, or AI, is one such tool. Tools are neither good nor bad, it is how people choose to interact with them that determines their use within the world. AI is reliant on the creativity of human beings; it would not exist otherwise. Creativity is the catalyst of innovation, and its importance in society is insurmountable. The benefits of creativity outweigh those of AI, as the latter is secondary to its inventor. AI should not be considered a replacement for creativity, because without people inventing it, AI would never exist. AI will never be as creative as human minds, since it cannot duplicate the artistic process and its art is devoid of emotion, context, and humanity. Moreover, AI should not replace human creativity since artistic expression is significant in humanity’s well-being and existence. 

AI dates to the 20th century; human art can be found from the beginning of time. AI was first hinted at by the theoretical work of Alan Mathison Turing in 1935. A pioneer in engineering and what would later be considered computer science, Turing was largely responsible for the creative thinking behind AI. By 1951, a successful AI program was written by Christopher Strachey. A year later, the program “could play a complete game of checkers at a reasonable speed” (Brittanica, 2023). As the years went on, AI continued to develop, and still does so today. In 2022, ChatGpt was released by OpenAI, an artificial intelligence research company. Although these programs mimic human creativity, AI is dependent on its creator, whose innovation dates to the prehistoric era. 

Human creativity and artwork can be found from the dawn of time, far surpassing modern inventions. The first recorded human artwork was found to be from 10,000 B.C. The text Four Hundred Years of Cave Art states that “the first drawings were made with a finger on a clay-covered surface,” and the artwork of the early days of humankind can be viewed in many museums today (Four Hundred Years of Cave Art, 45. 1979). Creativity from people is not dependent on anything or anyone. As human beings developed, so too, did their artwork. Without the work and dedication of people, AI would never be invented, and its reliance on people permanently separates it from human creativity. 

Human creativity is imperative to the well-being of people throughout the world. Art plays a huge role in multiple industries, even those that are not strictly art based. Psychiatric institutions employ art as a form of therapy, and this helps with “psychosocially challenging behaviors, slowing cognitive decline, and enhancing the quality of life” (Role of Art Therapy in the Promotion of Mental Health, a Critical Review, 2022). Art as a way to heal and communicate has been of great personal benefit to me. As an autistic person, creative outlets enable me to connect with others, as well as to communicate with the people and world around me. The research done on the benefits of art proves the importance of human creativity. 

AI does not possess the autonomy to independently create art, and it will never surpass human creativity as a result. Creativity is one of the many things that separates people from machines. Art is an organic process, and it is one that AI cannot replicate. In an article titled It’s all in the Mind, author Will Wiles demonstrates not only the limitations of AI, but the importance of human artwork. Wiles argues that AI created art contains a “fundamentally dreary, imitative nature,” and I am inclined to agree (It’s all in the Mind, 2023). AI art does not have any emotion tied to it, and the effect is strongly felt. Wiles further states that an important part of the creative process is fully fleshing out ideas. His comments on creative problems note that it is “only when you start working on it that you discover what it really is” (It’s all in the Mind, 2023). AI ignores this point in the artistic process, thus stopping it from ever being capable of human creativity. 

AI’s inability to create without a human algorithm renders it useless in replacing human creativity. AI was not invented until well into the 20th century, and it is forever reliant on its inventors and users. Prehistoric art can be found thousands of years ago, showing that human creativity has always been around, and is not going anywhere. Artwork is important throughout numerous fields and the benefits art has on mental health proves how big of a role art plays in human lives. AI can only take inspiration from art already created, and its inability to create organically will keep AI from ever replacing humans in the creative process. Artificial intelligence shows how relevant human creativity is by its invention, thus proving human creativity irreplaceable. 

Citations: 

“Alan Turing and the Beginning of Ai.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., www.britannica.com/technology/artificial-intelligence/Alan-Turing-and-the-beginning-of-AI. Accessed 17 Oct. 2023. 

Breuil, Henri. Four Hundred Centuries of Cave Art. Hacker Art Books, 1979. 

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