06 November 2018

AI in Creative Practice

Prof Simon Colton visited Bond University to explore the current and future uses of AI in a range of industries with leading academics

I visited Bond University in the Gold Coast recently to give a keynote talk on Computational Creativity as part of an afternoon of roundtable discussions entitled ‘Artificial Intelligence and Creative Practice’. The event was very interesting, especially from the perspective of a long-time AI researcher like myself, as it highlighted the myriad ways in which people are using AI and are considering how it can be used in the near and long term future.

There were three roundtable discussions, each of which focused on a particular area of the creative industries: the first (at which I was a participant) was on advertising and popular culture, the second on fashion design, and the third on law and the legal profession. However, due to medical researchers being involved in the third panel, the use of AI in healthcare was also extensively discussed.

While it’s popular these days to concentrate on the disruptive and possibly negative aspects of AI deployment in society, in all the panels a largely positive view was given whereby AI systems were seen as supplementing or empowering human creativity, and/or opening up new opportunities, whether commercial, intellectual or for artistic expression. Everything from websites enhanced with AI ‘magic’ to automatically tailor clothes to fit an online customer to software improving the diagnosis capabilities of doctors in the field were discussed in a constructive and realistic manner. It was particularly inspiring to hear from the medical professionals who worry less about changes in their work environment and more about the benefits that AI systems can bring to their patients .

My role was to help ground the discussion in the realities of what can be expected from AI systems in the creative industries, both currently and in the near future. To do this I gave some demonstrations in my talk, showing creative AI technologies ranging from muses and creativity support tools to fully autonomous systems able to surprise and inspire.

With careful steering by panel chairs Sven Brodmerkel, William van Caenegem, Nick James and Kate Galloway, the afternoon was a big success, culminating in on-going discussions on how AI will revolutionise the creative industries (or not…) over pizza and beers on the edge of the lake of the beautiful Bond University campus.