As a species, we have an extraordinary ability to create works of art that elevate, expand and transform what it means to be human. The novels of Henry James can communicate the inner world of one human being to another. The music of Wagner or Schubert takes us on an emotional rollercoaster ride as we give ourselves up to their sublime sounds.
These are the expressions of what Marcus du Sautoy calls `the creativity code'. Yet some believe that the new developments in AI and machine learning are so sophisticated that they can learn what it means to be human - that they can crack the code.
- Technology has always allowed us to extend our understanding of being human. But will the new tools of AI allow to us to create in different ways?
- Could recent developments in AI and machine learning also mean that it is no longer just human beings who can create art?
- And creativity, like consciousness, is one of those words that is hard to pin down: what is it that we are challenging these machines to do?
In The Creativity Code,
Marcus du Sautoy examines what these new developments might mean, for both the creative arts and his own subject, mathematics. From the Turing test to AlphaGo, are there limits to what algorithms can achieve, or might they be able to perfectly mimic human creativity? And what's more, could they help Marcus to see more deeply into the complex mathematical problems with which he so often wrestles?
About the Author
Marcus du Sautoy is Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford and a fellow of Wadham College. He has been named by the Independent on Sunday as one of the UK's leading scientists, has written extensively for the Guardian, The Times
and the Daily Telegraph
and has appeared on Radio 4 on numerous occasions. He is the author of ‘The Music of the Primes’
and has presented ‘Mind Games’ and ‘Music of the Primes’ on BBC television.
He was the Royal Institution Christmas lecturer in 2006, broadcast on Channel 5, and is filming ‘The Story of Maths’ for the BBC. In October 2008 he was appointed to Oxford University’s prestigious professorship as the Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science, a post previously held by Richard Dawkins. He lives in London with his wife and three children.
Praise for Marcus du Sautoy:
`Brilliant and fascinating. No one is better at making the recondite accessible and exciting' Bill Bryson
`I felt I was being carried off on a wonderful journey, a thrilling research expedition to the teasing and mysterious boundaries of scientific knowledge, and I never wanted to turn back. Du Sautoy is a masterful and friendly guide to these remotest regions' Richard Holmes
`I admire and envy the clarity and authority with which Marcus du Sautoy addresses a range of profound issues. His book deserves a wide readership' Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal
`Du Sautoy makes a lucid and beguiling companion as he guides us along the byways of contemporary science' Guardian