The Creativity Code Book Summary By Marcus du Sautoy

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The Creativity Code (2019) is an exploration into the ever-evolving capabilities of artificial intelligence and its influences on creative fields like art, music and literature.

In this book, author Marcus du Sautoy takes readers on a journey from the origins of creativity to a future of art-making algorithms as he attempts to answer the existential question; "Can machines be creative?"This book investigates every angle of AI-generated creativity from philosophical enquiries to historical analysis, combining both qualitative and quantitative research.

The Creativity Code explores how machines think differently compared to humans, how algorithms are being applied to solve complex problems and how these approaches could alter humanity's relationship with technology in the coming decades.

Discover what the possibilities are for revolutionary computer programs which will shape our world, as we gain insight into this fascinating field through The Creativity Code book.

The Creativity Code Book

Book Name: The Creativity Code (How AI is learning to write, paint and think)

Author(s): Marcus du Sautoy

Rating: 4.5/5

Reading Time: 24 Minutes

Categories: Creativity

Author Bio

Marcus du Sautoy is an amazing author and mathematician who has written extensively about science.

He has taken his work a step further by being appointed to the Simonyi Professorship for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, which was previously held by Richard Dawkins.

With this post, he continues striving to educate people from all backgrounds on topics such as mathematics and physics in order to make them more accessible to everyone.

His bestseller, The Music of the Primes (2003), demonstrates his genius in writing both scientific material and captivating stories.

Through this book and other writings, Marcus du Sautoy strives to increase understanding of science across diverse communities.

Explore The Possibility Of Ai-Created Art Surpassing Human Creativity

Human Creativity

When it comes to headlines about AI, few topics are as talked about as AI art.

After all, creativity is one of the most unique aspects of being human and it may even pre-date our species; archeologists have found evidence of artwork by Homo erectus that dates back 500,000 years.

So, is creativity something that will soon transcend us in the form of intelligent machine art?

In The Creativity Code, Marcus du Sautoy looks closer at this possibility and examines the current state of art-making AI.

He delves into the basics of computing, explores how math and music intersect, and investigates a computer program developed to compose symphonies in the style of Bach.

Overall, readers gain an understanding of three types of human creativity while also getting insight into where machines fit into art-making today and what sort of advancements they could make in the future.

Together, these sections illuminate a comprehensive picture on how far we’ve come with AI technology so far — presenting readers with a thrilling glimpse into what tomorrow might bring.

Creativity: How Computers Have Changed The Face Of Artistic Expression

Creativity isn’t just about coming up with something original – it’s about exploring what’s possible within the existing rules and boundaries.

French painter Claude Monet did this with his painting technique, which took traditional brush strokes and put a novel twist on them by layering flecks of color instead.

This creative take became known as impressionism, inspiring generations of artists to explore the interplay of light and color.

Newer forms of creativity emerged later in the twentieth century with Arnold Schönberg’s introduction of atonality.

He chose to disregard an accepted rule that all compositions should have a central key or tone – setting off transformations in how we perceive music.

Another way to be creative is through combinatorial creativity, which is the ability to merge structures that don’t appear to go together.

Architect Zaha Hadid has shown us what this looks like architecturally through her curvaceous buildings such as the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Azerbaijan.

Creativity truly shows its power when it involves elements of exploration, combining and transforming existing structures into something new – and that’s exactly what Monet, Schönberg and Hadid have done!

Mathematicians Use Creativity And Computers To Unearth Unexpected Insights

Creativity is commonly associated with masterpieces of art, music and literature.

But what many people don’t know is that this creative skill isn’t limited to art – it also drives mathematicians!

Mathematicians use logic to create theorems from axioms, which are assumed to be true in the field.

This can lead to the creation of new and unexpected theorems; think of Grigori Perelman, who used liquid flow patterns to think outside the box and prove the Poincaré conjecture, describing all possible shapes in our universe.

But this creative process is never completed alone.

In fact, advanced math has become so intricate that even talented mathematicians need machines to process all those numbers for them.

It’s through this assistance that their creativity has been enhanced, leading to surprising insights about our universe.

Therefore, human creativity does not just drive art – mathematicals benefit equally from the presence of creativity!

How Algorithms Are Helping Us Sort Through Data And Make Better Decisions

Better Decisions

We live in an age where algorithms shape so much of our daily lives.

From email filters that sort through the spam to getting recommendations on what we should buy next or even watch on Netflix, algorithms are everywhere.

Companies like Amazon, Spotify and Netflix all use algorithms to give us personalized recommendations based on our previous choices.

Algorithms can even help us find our romantic partners by using data such as personality traits and likes and dislikes.

Beyond this, algorithms are involved in search rankings, as they measure how a website is rankedby looking at how many other websites have linked to it – the more high-value websites like CNN link to it, for example, the higher up it appears in Google searches.

Algorithms go hand-in-hand with artificial intelligence too.

The more data that you give the algorithm – through interaction with services such as Netflix – the smarter they become.

For example, if you watch Sleepless in Seattle because of your fondness for Tom Hanks rather than because you really love romantic comedies, then Netflix may direct you towards Forrest Gump rather than Notting Hill when you look up similar romcoms again.

Overall, it’s clear that algorithms play a huge role in modern life, from controlling our entertainment habits to even helping us find true love!

The Dawn Of Machine Learning: When Programs Rewrite Themselves To Unlock Fresh Possibilities

The advent of bottom-up machine learning has revolutionized the field of AI.

Before this, programmers believed that “you can only get out what you put in,” meaning a program was as clever as the person who coded it.

However, this all changed with the emergence of a computer which could play board games.

Go, an ancient Chinese strategy game requiring skill and creativity, was thought to be impossible to teach a machine until 2016 when Demis Hassabis’s AlphaGo computer beat reigning human Go champion Lee Sedol in a four-to-one victory.

To achieve this feat, Hassabis and his team used machine learning techniques and adopted a bottom-up approach in development, allowing the computer to rewrite its own code through trial and error.

Through making moves that led to either victory or defeat, AlphaGo learned more about Go strategies than humans had ever thought of before.

The continued improvement of AI is attributed largely to the high amount of data now available from today’s internet age.

The combination of massive data collections paired with programs that allow for autonomous learning is what makes machines smarter than before – and even smarter than us humans!

How Computers Are Using Algorithms To Compose Music And Produce Art

When it comes to creating music, math is at the core of everything.

Classical composers have relied on mathematical algorithms for centuries, taking a simple melody and transforming it into something complex by manipulating various mathematical rules.

The result is the signature style that each composer carries in their work.

For example, Johann Sebastian Bach was known for using a mathematical pattern in his composition called the Alberti bass pattern – 3 notes played in a sequence of 13231323.

Computers can also create music using algorithms and recognizing patterns in music, as demonstrated by David Cope’s Emmy AI generating synthetic compositions based on Bach’s style.

Even jazz players are getting into the game, with an AI instrument called The Continuator trained to recognize musical patterns from jazz compositions to produce breathtaking improvisations when connected to a human player’s riff.

Plus developments like Massive Attack’s Fantom app that uses Twitter data to develop customized mixes and Brian Eno’s audio apps blur the lines between man and machine.

Ultimately, Math and algorithms are closely intertwined with music – both classical and modern – as evidenced through many examples of computer-generated compositions successful enough to fool even veteran admirers of Bach and other classic composers.

Ai Is Redefining The Art World, From Music Composition To Visual Art Creation And Storytelling


AI technology is already being used to generate music, art and literature.

From Siemens engineer Georg Nees’ 1965 programming of a computer to draw geometrical drawings, to Ahmed Elgammal’s morerecent development of Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) for visual art, AI has come a long way in the realm of creativity.

GANs even learn from data such as WikiArt and classify images to produce visual work that can stand up to human-made art.

AI technology is also being used in journalism.

Text processing programs are able to generate news clippings while taking into account word choice, sentence structure and the structure of typical news writing format.

AI is capable of even imitating authors such as Ernest Hemingway and at least some part of our author’s own book was written by an algorithm!

From music to literature, AI technology is proving itself as more than capable when it comes to creating artistical works with creativity and unique perspective – raising questions about the potential implications that it might have on current jobs in creative fields going forward.

Ai Programs Struggle To Understand Language, Reach Sober Judgements, And See The Big Picture, But Can Create Surprising Artworks

AI still faces many challenges in language and vision.

Computers are not able to answer questions in natural language because sentences can be full of ambiguities, requiring contextual knowledge from a human.

Furthermore, AI cannot create meaningful texts with the same artistry as humans.

In terms of vision, computers usually have to compare the pixels from an image to understand what’s in the picture.

This task is difficult for computers because the composition of each image is different.

Examples where AI has made advances include the Xbox One Kinect motion sensor, which can identify and map 31 distinct body parts simply by comparing depth and distance of each pixel to its surroundings.

However, AI’s abilities are dwarfed when compared to humans’ intuition and ability to make sense of visual relations when looking at an image.

As proof of that one needs just look at websites that ask you pick out images of cars, road signs or cats to make sure that you’re not a robot.

On another level AI can use their peculiar nonhuman vision to create fascinating art such as Google’s DeepDream program which works by feeding an AI a blurred image then asking it enhance the pictures features according to what it expects it to be creating psychedelic colored images one could interpret as modern art however this is still far from being considered real art by a computer or AI.

We Still Need Human Minds To Discover Meaning In Ai’S Creative Output

Human Minds

Though AIs have advanced to levels capable of creating images, music and literature that surprise even the people behind them, they still lack the element of free will.

They are created by humans to perform specific functions and ultimately, rely on human direction for their “creativity”.

Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges’ short story The Library of Babel serves as a useful analogy for this.

In it he compares the behavior of machines to a library full of books with varying lengths yet no meaning – like one filled with 410 pages of just N’s.

Without the intervention from a fellow human, the vast amount data contained in these books is left to be parsed out with no appreciation of its creative value.

Similarly, what modern computers generated is derived from humans inputting parameters – so while impressive, they can’t create anything without prior instruction.

AIs are therefore more useful as tools but without machine consciousness becoming a reality there won’t be any true examples of creativity yet.

Once it does arrive – if we get that far – then perhaps AI-generated artwork will provide us with an insight into their artificial minds.

Wrap Up

In summation, The Creativity Code is an important read for anyone interested in the current and future state of Artificial Intelligence.

We learn that while machines can already create pieces of art, music, and literature, they cannot do so consciously or with purpose.

The actionable advice given to readers is to learn about the algorithms that control their lives.

Companies like Google, Netflix and Amazon use ever-evolving algorithms to influence consumer choices on their page, as well as browse habits outside of the website.

Understanding what data these companies collect from you – and how their algorithms operate – will empower you to make conscious decisions around it.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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