Close Notification

Your cart does not contain any items

The Creativity Code: Art and Innovation in the Age of AI

Marcus Du Sautoy



We can order this in for you
How long will it take?


Harvard University Press
15 April 2019
Social groups; Psychology; History of mathematics; Computing: general; Artificial intelligence
The award-winning author of The Music of the Primes explores the future of creativity and how machine learning will disrupt, enrich, and transform our understanding of what it means to be human.

Can a well-programmed machine do anything a human can-only better? Complex algorithms are choosing our music, picking our partners, and driving our investments. They can navigate more data than a doctor or lawyer and act with greater precision. For many years we've taken solace in the notion that they can't create. But now that algorithms can learn and adapt, does the future of creativity belong to machines, too?

It is hard to imagine a better guide to the bewildering world of artificial intelligence than Marcus du Sautoy, a celebrated Oxford mathematician whose work on symmetry in the ninth dimension has taken him to the vertiginous edge of mathematical understanding. In The Creativity Code he considers what machine learning means for the future of creativity. The Pollockizer can produce drip paintings in the style of Jackson Pollock, Botnik spins off fanciful (if improbable) scenes inspired by J. K. Rowling, and the music-composing algorithm Emmy managed to fool a panel of Bach experts. But do these programs just mimic, or do they have what it takes to create? Du Sautoy argues that to answer this question, we need to understand how the algorithms that drive them work-and this brings him back to his own subject of mathematics, with its puzzles, constraints, and enticing possibilities.

While most recent books on AI focus on the future of work, The Creativity Code moves us to the forefront of creative new technologies and offers a more positive and unexpected vision of our future cohabitation with machines. It challenges us to reconsider what it means to be human-and to crack the creativity code.
By:   Marcus Du Sautoy
Imprint:   Harvard University Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 156mm, 
ISBN:   9780674988132
ISBN 10:   0674988132
Pages:   320
Publication Date:   15 April 2019
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Marcus du Sautoy is the Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford, and the bestselling author of The Music of the Primes; Symmetry; and The Great Unknown. He has received the Berwick Prize and Zeeman Medal from the London Mathematical Society and the Michael Faraday Prize and Lecture from the Royal Society, among other recognitions. A trumpeter, member of an experimental theater group, and former president of the Mathematical Association, du Sautoy has written and presented over a dozen documentaries, including The Code and The Secret Rules of Modern Living: Algorithms. He created the codes for Lauren Child's Ruby Redfort mysteries.

Reviews for The Creativity Code: Art and Innovation in the Age of AI

Algorithms that not only duplicate human skills but learn from their mistakes are what define artificial intelligence. But du Sautoy considers the possibility of reaching another stage: machine creativity, technology that is itself capable of innovation.-- (02/08/2019) In a classic 1950 paper, Alan Turing asked: 'Can machines think?' ...Du Sautoy's test is different but no less challenging: can machines be genuinely creative? The interest, just as it was for Turing, lies not so much in finding a definitive answer but in examining what the question itself might mean.--Prospect (03/04/2019) Makes the case for why algorithms could match Beethoven or Picasso--or for that matter, the creative departments of advertising agencies.--Marketing Week (04/25/2019) Fascinating... If all the experiences, hopes, dreams, visions, lusts, loves, and hatreds that shape the human imagination amount to nothing more than a 'code, ' then sooner or later a machine will crack it. Indeed, du Sautoy assembles an eclectic array of evidence to show how that's happening even now.-- (02/23/2019) As machines outsmart us in ever more domains, we can at least comfort ourselves that one area will remain sacrosanct and uncomputable: human creativity. Or can we? ...In his fascinating exploration of the nature of creativity, Marcus du Sautoy questions many of those assumptions. The Oxford mathematician, who is as adept at explaining complex theories in prose as he is on television, argues that so much of what we consider to be creativity consists of super-smart synthesis rather than the flash of inspiration.-- (03/01/2019) Argues reassuringly that true creativity belongs to humanity...A computer may best any human at calculation, but it lacks that snippet of 'human code' that lets us know when an idea is not just new but meaningful.--New York Times Book Review (05/05/2019) Absorbing...Eloquent and illuminating.--Nature (02/19/2019) Technology is already controlling more and more of our lives every day, sometimes in ways we barely stop to think about. As programs slowly do more of our thinking, Du Sautoy reassuringly insists that there are, indeed, some ways in which technology can never replace human ingenuity.-- (05/08/2019) An interesting, reader-friendly discussion of how well computers can be creative.--Choice (10/01/2019) A wide-ranging and fact-packed tour d'horizon of current applications of artificial intelligence in mathematics and the arts.--The Guardian (03/12/2019) The Creativity Code is only partly a book about AI art. It is as much about how AI thinks and how it does mathematics--du Sautoy's own special subject. And on these topics, he is thoughtful and illuminating.-- (02/17/2019) Fact-packed and funny, questioning what we mean by creative and unsettling the script about what it means to be human, The Creativity Code is a brilliant travel guide to the coming world of AI.--Jeanette Winterson We seem to have convinced ourselves that higher-level creativity and intuition are uniquely human traits. Why? Why could a machine one day not create a truly original work of art, write a moving poem, compose an opera, or even discover a mathematical theorem? The answers, in this compelling and thought-provoking book by mathematician and musician Marcus du Sautoy, can be found by breaking down what it actually means to be creative.--Jim Al-Khalili, Professor of Theoretical Physics and Presenter of The Secret Life of Chaos Algorithms are often seen as opaque or dangerous forces, fueling our fears of apocalypse/the ghost in the machine. But if art is an early warning system and artists the experts at making the invisible visible, then Marcus du Sautoy is, in this remarkable consideration of the limitations and possibilities of AI, the light-bearer, illuminating not only the work of coders and creators, but the mathematics of chaos that underpin art.--Hans Ulrich Obrist, Director of the Serpentine Gallery and author of The Interview Project

See Also