The Creativity Code

Wednesday September 16, 2020 from 8:00 PM to 9:30 PM


Will a computer ever compose a symphony, write a prize-winning novel, or paint a masterpiece? And if so, would we be able to tell the difference?  As humans, we have an extraordinary ability to create works of art that elevate, expand and transform what it means to be alive. Yet in many other areas, new developments in AI are shaking up the status quo, as we find out how many of the tasks humans engage in can be done equally well, if not better, by machines. But can machines be creative, i.e. come up with something that is new, that is surprising, and that has value? Will they soon be able to learn from the art that moves us, and understand what distinguishes it from the mundane?

In his latest book The Creativity Code, Marcus du Sautoy examines the nature of creativity, as well as providing an essential guide into how algorithms work, and the mathematical rules underpinning them. He asks how much of our emotional response to art is a product of our brains reacting to pattern and structure, and exactly what it is to be creative in mathematics, art, language and music. In an exploration of both AI and the essence of being human, he finds out how long it might be before machines come up with something creative, and whether they might jolt us into being more imaginative ourselves.

Following the lecture, TU/e researchers dr. Kristina Andersen (Industrial Design) and  dr. Jim Portegies (Mathematics and Computer Science) will illustrate the additional value of AI for creativity in their respective fields.
There will also be ample time for questions and discussion with the (online) audience.

Prof. dr. Marcus du Sautoy is the successor of Richard Dawkins as Simonyi professor for the public understanding of science. He is also a professor of mathematics at the University of Oxford. He is widely known for his work to popularize mathematics, appears regularly in the media and has written numerous academic articles and popular books on mathematics. His latest book The Creativity Code was published in 2019. The Dutch edition (De Code van Creativiteit) will appear in September 2020 at Uitgeverij Nieuwezijds.

This event is organized by the TU/e Center for Humans & Technology, Eindhoven Young Academy of Engineering, and EAISI (Eindhoven AI Systems Institute), in cooperation with Studium Generale.


You can watch The Creativity Code here


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16 September 2020 at 20 PM


Humans and Technology

Understanding the relation between humans and technology is key to responsible development and acceptance of future technologies in almost every application field, be it energy, mobility, health, work, living, learning or entertainment.