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PAINT BY NUMBERS Can computers learn to be more creative than humans? Author of The Creativity Code Professor Marcus du Sautoy investigates the future of the machine mind Illustration Jamie Cullen 58 / Jaguar Magazine
Tech Machines can do extraordinary things that humans can’t. Cars can move faster than any animal on earth. A calculator can perform arithmetic at speeds that no human could match. An fMRI scanner can see inside your body. Machines can y. And yet despite all these achievements, it is human ingenuity that has given rise to the power of the machine. A machine has to be told what to do. So how could it ever achieve anything that would surprise a human who made the machine? Creativity is about breaking the rules. Thinking outside of the box. Making something that surprises us. And yet has such value that it makes us see the world in a new way. Surely, a machine could never do that? This has been a mantra in computer science for many years. If you write code to get a machine to do something, then you write down all the instructions that tell the machine what to do in every scenario it might encounter. If you were programming a computer to play noughts and crosses, then the program would consist of lots of lines of code with things like: if your opponent plays in the middle, then play at one of the corners. But in the last few years, there has been a phase change in the sort of code that is being written. The top-down style of coding, where we tell the machines what to do, is being replaced by a new bottomup approach. The code is written in such a manner that rather than knowing how to solve a problem from the outset, it instead learns how to solve the problem. The code evolves and changes as it encounters new challenges. It learns from making mistakes, just as we do. If it gets something wrong, the code has the ability to rewrite itself. It can change parameters in the code so that if it encounters the problem again, the new updated version of the code would get it right next time. This new sort of code, called machine learning, is modelled much more closely on the way humans learn and develop. If we stick our hand in a re, then the brain quickly updates its code so that next time it will recognise the warning signals to avoid doing that again. Jaguar Magazine / 59
Jaguar Magazine celebrates creativity in all its forms, with exclusive features that inspire sensory excitement, from beautiful design to cutting-edge technology.
In this issue, we explore the art of creativity from the Brazilian masters who devised the graceful art of Capoeira, to the Irish artists mixing new culture with old. You will also discover the creative line that links Victorian wallpaper to the iPhone. While the multi-talented actor and performer, Riz Ahmed, explains why it is the right time to reveal his true self to the world.
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