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Is AI Capable of Genuine Creativity?

Updated: Mar 1

In this blog post, Shootlab ask the question - Is AI Capable of Genuine Creativity? We explore the capabilities of AI algorithms in generating art and creative outputs and examine the implications of Artificial Intelligence for creative practices. If you are an artist, designer, creative, or just someone who has an interest in AI and the future of Creativity, this blog post is for you!

As we enter the era of rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI) shootlab wanted to examine the possibilities and limitations that arise when machines are involved in the 'creative process' and the potential implications for artists, designers, and creative professionals. Furthermore, we pause to reflect upon AI and the ethical quandaries and societal implications that accompany this unprecedented fusion of creativity and technology. Join us (shootlab) on this exploration, as we navigate through the realms of AI-generated creativity and its impact on the creative world.

woman holding her arms up in motion out of black environment, her arms and body are covered with led coloured lines in motion
An artist using motion capture technology to translate dance movements into intricate and fluid digital paintings created using Midjourney ai

Why are we all talking about AI in 2023?

What has propelled (AI) to the forefront of our digital discussions in 2023, why has it become the predominant topic popping up in every corner of our connected world? The reason for this has largely been down to the significant advances in AI technology and the release of high profile applications such as Chat GPT and Midjourney AI, which demonstrate an evolved form of AI-engineered creativity!

The emergence of Chat GPT in early 2023 represented a significant leap forward in natural language processing and generation. Its language generation capabilities, combined with its vast knowledge base, meant that it was able to do tasks only dreamed of before. And in image creation Midjourney and Dalle E arrived offering incredible potential for image creation, shootlab as content creators were instantly hooked. The internet is now flooded with AI-generated images from the likes of Midjourney and DALL-E.mesmerising visuals gracing our Instagram feeds and AI-generated videos and animations that captivate audiences on platforms like TikTok.

man wearing a white shirt in a laboratory environment, table scientific apparatus and pink smoke, chemical reactions
An artist experimenting with bio art, integrating living organisms and AI - technology into their artistic practice. Image by Shootlab using Midjourney ai

AI's Current Creative Abilities -Creative AI examples:

The idea of AI-powered creativity has been around for decades, but it has only been in recent years that AI has made remarkable progress in various creative domains. AI systems using AI algorithms can now generate realistic-looking images, write poems and stories, and even compose music that is indistinguishable from human-created works. Examples like the ethereal DeepDream, the captivating DeepArt and AI-generated music compositions have showcased the potential of AI in the realm of artistic pursuits.

In the field of image creation through the utilisation of sophisticated AI algorithms, AI systems now possess the extraordinary ability to generate visually striking and remarkably realistic images. These AI-generated images blur the lines between the artificial and the genuine, leaving viewers unable to discern between them and real photographic content.

An intriguing example of this occurred when a photograph created using AI by German photographer Boris Eldagsen triumphed in a prestigious international photography competition, astonishing judges who were completely unaware of its AI origins. This remarkable feat undoubtedly elicited a sense of awe and curiosity, raising intriguing questions about the interplay between AI and artistic endeavors.

a vibrant green starter, adorned with fresh dill and presented on a pristine dark grey plate with a silver fork. The starter is cucumber and dill sorbet in a ball shape, the intricate layers and textures are on full display, tempting the viewer with their richness. To the left of the dessert, a glass of refreshing white wine awaits, its contents perfectly chilled and ready to be enjoyed.
AI-Generated Professional Food Photography - a photograph of an innovative cucumber & Dill sorbet starter served with a crisp cucumber salad & a drizzle of olive oil, at a table in a Michelin-starred Danish restaurant Photo Shootlab

Curious, Shootlab invite you to explore our blog post titled AI Generated Food Photography where we embarked on an experiment to assess the capabilities of AI in generating food photography and achieving photo-realism. At SHOOTLAB we were left incredibly impressed by the results we obtained. You could also view our 1960s fashion style Blog which recreates the hippie, Beatnik and Mod styles of the 1960s, these vintage images are so authentic that you would never guess that they were AI-generated

An image above from our 1960s fashion style Blog here where we recreated the authentic vintage styles of the 1960s using Midjourney AI.

While AI has encountered its fair share of criticisms, particularly regarding its perceived lack of originality, there is an undeniable surge in the utilisation of artificial intelligence across the creative landscape. AI is now increasingly employed to craft artistic works spanning music, art, and writing. Its potential is boundless, allowing for the generation of fresh ideas, novel forms of expression, and even the creation of works that are virtually indistinguishable from those brought forth by human hands.

man sits on chair in front of black piano keyboard, he is wearing a cream coloured suit and headphones, the photo is taken behind him and he is in front of an orange textured wall with in built speakers
A musician creates innovative music using AI technology

AI Music Generators /AI Music Creation

  • The Ballad of the AI A high profile example of an AI-generated musical work is "The Ballad of the AI," which was created by the Google AI team. The song is a beautiful and moving ballad about the potential of AI to change the world.

  • The First AI Symphony" by Baidu: This symphony was composed by Baidu, a Chinese technology company. The symphony is a large-scale work that showcases the power of AI to create complex and sophisticated music.

  • Overture for an AI Opera" by David Cope: This overture was composed by David Cope, a musicologist and computer scientist who has developed a number of AI programs that can generate music. The overture is a beautiful and haunting piece of music that showcases the potential of AI to create new and original works of music.

AI Generated image depicting Digital Waves in orange, blues and yellows
AI-Generated image depicting Digital Waves in Music Production - Image Shootlab

  • The Machine" by Holly Herndon: This song was created by musician Holly Herndon in collaboration with an AI program called Spawn. The song explores the relationship between humans and machines, and the potential for AI to create new forms of music.

  • 3 AIs, 1 Song" by AI Songs: This song was created by three different AI music programs, each of which contributed a different part of the song. The result is a unique and experimental piece of music that showcases the potential of AI to create new and innovative sounds.

room with large windows overlooking moon like planet, the room has large speakers inset in the walls, there is swirling sand on the floor and large rocks scattered around, the picture has an orange tone to it and is a fantasy image
Ai Music Creation Lounge looking out over Luna Landscape, a place to create amazing futuristic music

AI Art Generators / AI-Generative Art

AI-generated art is a rapidly expanding field that encompasses a wide range of styles and mediums. From generative art to style transfer, AI-generated art can take many forms. Some artists with programming backgrounds train a GAN (Generative Adversarial Network) with the help of an image dataset to create their art, while others rely on giving text prompts to AI-art generator tools.

Popular text prompt AI image creation tools include Midjourney AI and DALL-E these are AI-powered art creation platforms that have contributed to a new era of artistic expression. These platforms leverage the power of AI to generate an array of creative outputs, ranging from realistic paintings and photo-realistic photography to intricate illustrations and even sculptures. Their contributions have significantly expanded the boundaries of what AI can accomplish within the realm of art.

a female artist creates a painting with a paint brush, the paint is exploding on the canvas in yellows, orange, blues
An artist at work with explosive paint structures, AI Generated Art. Photo by Shootlab

Another influential player in the field is Google's Deep Dream which emerged as a pioneering computer program developed by the AI team at Google. DeepDream possesses the remarkable ability to transform ordinary photographs into mesmerising and psychedelic images. Through its advanced algorithms, DeepDream exemplifies how AI can manipulate and reinterpret visual content, pushing the boundaries of artistic interpretation.

What are some examples of AI-generated art?

Interesting examples of recent AI-generated art include "Artificial Natural History" (2020) by Sofia Crespo. This work explores speculative, artificial life through the lens of a natural history book that never was. Other notable AI art pieces include "Keep Running" by James She, "Electric Fan" by Tom White, and "Anatomy Lessons" by Harsha Agrawal.

man kneeling down with a pain brush, painting a moonlike surface
An AI artist at work on an installation piece. emulating a planetary-like moon surface ai-generated. Photo by Shootlab

AI Writing Generators / Chat GPT AI Bot

Undoubtedly it was Chat GPT that really revolutionised the AI landscape by bringing AI technology into the forefront of mainstream conversation. Its remarkable ability to generate written content raised significant questions and considerations, particularly regarding the potential impact on various job sectors. Chat GPT has been captivating audiences with its diverse creative capabilities and is able to write everything from novels to emails, to poetry to songs.

These examples merely scratch the surface of the myriad ways in which AI and its algorithms are being harnessed to forge new and innovative forms of art. As AI continues to advance and evolve, we can anticipate the emergence of even more astounding and imaginative works crafted by machines. However, it is worth pondering whether these AI-generated creations represent true expressions of creativity or are simply adaptations of existing works already accessible across the web.

asian man sitting at desk working on art using colourful organisms
A scientist artist at work in lab creating art with AI Generated Organisms. Photo by Shootlab

The Complexity of Creativity

Once upon a time, the realm of creativity was thought to be a human dominion, a magical essence setting us apart from the calculative mechanisms of machines. But lo and behold, the dawn of generative artificial intelligence has begun to blur this once defined border!

Creativity is a fundamental aspect of human intelligence orchestrating leaps of innovation, masterpieces of art, and momentous progress throughout our rich tapestry of history. It has the enchanting capacity to morph the mundane into the marvellous, the ordinary into the extraordinary! Human creativity is however a multifaceted phenomenon that involves intentionality, consciousness, and self-awareness. These aspects of creativity pose significant challenges in replicating them within AI systems.

abstract image of twisted wire mesh with small metallic blue and orange balls stuck to and floating away from, light background
AI algorithms, blurring the boundaries between the organic and the synthetic

While AI algorithms can generate creative outputs based on predefined rules and patterns, they lack the deeper understanding and subjective interpretation that humans bring to creative processes. Human creativity is deeply rooted in the complex interplay of experiences, emotions, and cultural influences, making it challenging for AI systems to fully grasp the intricate nuances that shape creative expression.

Moreover, creativity is inherently contextual, often drawing inspiration from a myriad of sources and responding to specific cultural, social, and historical contexts. Infusing AI systems with the depth of understanding required to navigate these complex contextual layers remains a formidable task. While AI has demonstrated remarkable capabilities in generating creative outputs, it is essential to acknowledge that the fundamental essence of human creativity, with its rich tapestry of intentionality, consciousness, and self-awareness, continues to elude complete replication within AI systems.

An older man with grey beard and glasses sits at desk  Architect using AI to create architectural structures
An Architect using AI to create innovative architectural structures. Photo by Shootlab

Collaboration between Humans and AI

Rather than replacing human creativity, there is a growing shift towards collaboration and co-creation with AI. AI systems can serve as tools to provide inspiration, generate ideas, and augment human creative processes. By leveraging AI's computational capabilities, humans can explore new possibilities and expand the boundaries of their own creativity.

It is crucial, however, to maintain a steadfast recognition and preservation of the value of human input in higher-level creative thinking. Human intuition, emotional intelligence, and critical judgment play indispensable roles in the creative realm, bringing depth, authenticity, and a uniquely human perspective to the creative process. While AI can contribute in remarkable ways, it is the harmonious interplay between human and machine that truly cultivates innovative and meaningful creations.

This collaborative approach allows for a symbiotic relationship, where AI augments human creativity, amplifying our capacity to ideate, innovate, and express ourselves in novel and profound ways. By embracing this partnership, we can unlock the full potential of AI as a catalyst for human imagination and continue to push the boundaries of what is creatively possible.

grey tonal image of female head and shoulders with head leaning to the side emerging out of stone environment with digital fragments
An artist working in an AI Universe combining classical sculptures with digital Fragments. AI Image by Shootlab

AI and Ethical and Social Implications

The rise of AI creativity gives rise to a host of ethical and social considerations that demand careful attention. One pressing concern pertains to copyright and ownership of AI-generated content. Determining legal rights and fair attribution becomes a complex endeavor, as it remains uncertain whether AI-generated works can be protected under existing copyright laws or if new legislation is necessary to address this novel landscape.

Furthermore, ensuring responsible and ethical use of AI creativity is paramount.

Measures must be taken to prevent misuse, plagiarism, or the creation of harmful content by AI systems. Transparency in AI algorithms and systems is crucial, enabling users and stakeholders to understand the processes and decisions underlying AI-generated works. Fairness in algorithmic decision-making, avoiding biases and discrimination, is a critical aspect of responsible AI creativity.

Additionally, a thoughtful approach to legal considerations is essential to navigate the intricacies of AI-generated content. Addressing questions surrounding liability, accountability, and intellectual property rights will be pivotal in establishing a framework that promotes fairness, innovation, and collaboration.

By proactively engaging in these ethical discussions and implementing appropriate safeguards, we can foster an environment where AI creativity flourishes while upholding societal values, protecting individual rights, and ensuring the responsible and ethical utilisation of AI-generated content.

A dancer poses wearing an AI Generated rainbow coloured outfit as part of a dance performance
A dancer poses wearing an AI Generated outfit as part of a dance performance. Photo Shootlab


In conclusion, the question 'Is AI Capable of Genuine Creativity' continues to spark debate, even as AI systems churn out paintings, poems, and music that many would consider creative works. While AI has demonstrated remarkable abilities in replicating creative tasks within specific domains, it still falls short of capturing the full breadth and depth of human creativity, which encompasses intentionality, consciousness, and self-awareness.

man wearing white jacket and black trousers with cartoon face standing in front of explosive colourful oil painting hung on wall
AI-Art-Is-Not-Art - Is it art if it was not produced by an artist

While some experts argue these are merely the output of advanced statistical analysis and pattern recognition, devoid of true imagination, others believe AI represents a new frontier of creativity, one with abilities that may even surpass human creativity one day. For now, AI can serve as a valuable tool for inspiration, idea generation, and augmentation, empowering human creators to explore new possibilities and expand their creative output, revealing new possibilities from the quantum of options. AI can help reduce the cost of generating new ideas by revealing untold options and identifying useful combinations previously unseen. But the final spark - the essence of creativity that allows visionaries to dream up paradigm-shifting inventions - remains out of reach. As scientists work to close this last gap between humans and machines, the debate seems certain to continue.

As we embark on this journey of AI creativity, it is imperative to address the ethical and social implications that arise. This includes grappling with issues of copyright, attribution, fairness, and responsible use of AI-generated content. By navigating these challenges with thoughtfulness and care, we can leverage the power of AI to enhance human creativity while upholding ethical standards and societal values.

Ultimately, the future of AI and creativity lies in a harmonious collaboration between human minds and machine intelligence, where each brings their unique strengths to the table, pushing the boundaries of innovation and unlocking new realms of creative expression.

To explore further here are some Links to science articles on AI and creativity:

man sitting at desk with headphones on working on futuristic organic architectural structure
Architect merging digital process with AI Technology. Image by Shootlab

Common Google questions about AI (Quick answers)

Is AI bad for creativity?

AI itself is not inherently inherently detrimental to creativity. While AI systems may be capable of replicating certain creative tasks, they often lack the depth, subjective interpretation, and intuitive understanding that human creators bring to the table. However, when employed in collaboration with humans, AI can play a significant role in enhancing and augmenting creative endeavour's.

Three reasons why AI will never match human creativity:

  • Lack of genuine intentionality and consciousness: AI lacks the inherent intentionality and consciousness that underlie human creativity. While AI algorithms can generate outputs based on predefined rules and patterns, they do not possess the deep sense of purpose, personal experiences, and subjective understanding that humans bring to their creative endeavors. The conscious awareness and intention behind human creativity allow for the expression of emotions, beliefs, and unique perspectives that cannot be replicated by AI.

  • Inability to fully understand contextual nuances: Human creativity is heavily influenced by cultural, social, and emotional contexts that are difficult for AI systems to fully comprehend and replicate.

  • Emotional intelligence and intuition: AI systems lack the emotional intelligence and intuitive capabilities that play a significant role in human creative processes.

What is artificial creativity?

Artificial creativity refers to the ability of AI systems to produce outputs that are perceived as creative by human standards. It involves the generation of novel and valuable ideas, compositions, or artworks using computational algorithms and techniques.AI algorithms, such as generative models and machine learning approaches, can be trained on extensive datasets to learn patterns, styles, and structures prevalent in various creative domains. By analysing and processing this data, AI systems can generate outputs that exhibit characteristics of novelty, originality, and value.

How has AI transformed the art creation process?

AI has made art creation more accessible, enabling people without formal art training to produce and experiment with art, significantly broadening the range of creators and styles.

Can AI replace human creativity?

While AI has shown impressive capabilities in replicating creative tasks, it is unlikely to completely replace human creativity. Human creativity is deeply rooted in subjective experiences, emotions, and consciousness, which are difficult to replicate or replace with algorithms. However, AI can be a powerful tool for augmenting and enhancing human creativity, leading to new possibilities and innovations.

Artistic creativity in artificial intelligence, discuss

Artistic creativity in artificial intelligence refers to the ability of AI systems to produce artworks or creative outputs that are aesthetically pleasing, evoke emotions, or exhibit artistic qualities. While AI can generate visually appealing images, compositions, or literary pieces, the subjective interpretation and deeper understanding associated with human artistic creativity are still unmatched by AI systems.

How can artists monetize their AI-generated creations?

Artists can monetise AI art by selling through NFT platforms, engaging in brand collaborations, and creating merchandise, leveraging digital markets to reach audiences worldwide.

SHOOTLAB are a content Creation Company based in the UK. Specialising in Video Production,Photography, Videography, Social media Content Creation & Social Media Management. We have experience working with businesses of all sizes creating high-quality content for websites, blogs and social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram and Twitter.Elevate your brand or business with Shootlab's expertise in dynamic content creation and high-impact video production.

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