The Creativity Code: How AI is learning to write, paint and think

The Creativity Code: How AI is learning to write, paint and think
Genre : Popular Science
Published : 18 Feb 2019 - Fourth Estate
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? Will they soon be able to learn from the art that moves us, and understand what distinguishes it from the mundane?

In 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.

Marcus finds out how long it might be before machines come up with something creative, and whether they might jolt us into being more imaginative in turn. The result is a fascinating and very different exploration into both AI and the essence of what it means to be human.


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

Absorbing study… eloquent and illuminating.

Nature Magazine


Financial Times

Thoughtful and illuminating.

James McConnachie, The Sunday Times

[A]n eclectic tour d’horizon of what artificial intelligence (AI) has achieved in the past decade.

Robert Morrison, The Times

Marcus du Sautoy, one of our most lucid and penetrating explainers of difficult science and maths to the science-challenged.

Mr Porter

Especially eloquent. . . he rightfully and persuasively presents [mathematics] as one of the rational human endeavours where creativity is most required.

Prospect Magazine

[A]n ambitious meditation on the meaning of creativity and consciousness. It shines in finding humanlike traits in algorithms".<br />

Alison Murphy, The Wall Street Journal

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