Direkt zum Inhalt

How are self-learning algorithms influencing our creativity, language and the scope of our perception?

Holger Volland talked with many of THE ARTS+ experts during the last two years and is convinced that technology is already influencing our culture today more than we think. These expert meetings turned into a book that is discussing  what trends are on the horizon for the future of our culture.

These and other topics will also be discussed at this year’s edition of THE ARTS+, the creative business festival of the Frankfurter Buchmesse(Öffnet neues Fenster) (10-14 October 2018).


The following is an excerpt from Holger’s book:

Creativity begins with copying

The question that presents itself at the outset is: What is artificial intelligence (AI) anyway? The term is used to refer broadly to all forms of technology used in connection with intelligent capacities previously ascribed only to humans. This includes autonomous learning, pattern recognition, robotics, natural language processing and translation. A distinction is made between “strong AI” and “weak AI”. The former refers to machines that are essentially capable of all the intellectual activities humans also excel in; so far, it exists only in theory. All currently extant forms of AI are “weak”, in the sense that they are only proficient in individual disciplines, such as recognising texts or images or copying Rembrandts. However, they often have better command of these limited capabilities than we humans do.

I read studies about how robots are changing our work environment for the better, supporting us as tireless helpers. And I read other studies about how robots are robbing us of our work, reducing us all to poor layabouts. I spoke with experts from technology companies, with scientists, artists and musicians. Finally, via the Internet, I asked people in my personal network about their fears and expectations in the various areas in which AI is used. During the course of this research, my mood alternated between fear and euphoria with lovely regularity: One moment, I was excited about some new AI development like “The Next Rembrandt(Öffnet neues Fenster)” project; the next, I shuddered to imagine what these capacities might lead to.

Of course, one can argue that just because software can, for example, store and analyse all of Rembrandt’s portraits and use the features expressed in them to create new images, this hardly makes it a great master. At the same time, even though this software does not develop its own style and merely imitates the Old Master, it is quite creative in its invention of new images. As a result, in this book, I also allow myself to write about “creative artificial intelligence” or “CAI”. I understand this term to mean AI applications that produce their own original creations and can generate music, images or designs. They are capable of doing so above all because they are continuing to learn constantly and thus forever improving their results. At first glance – as you will see in this book – this form of AI is already widespread.

Holger Volland
Die kreative Macht der Maschinen. Warum Künstliche Intelligenzen bestimmen, was wir morgen fühlen und denken(Öffnet neues Fenster)

(“The Creative Power of Machines. Why Artificial Intelligence Determines What We Feel and Think Tomorrow”)

Published by Beltz Verlag