Arthur I. Miller: Perspectives on the creative mind

In The Artist in the Machine, Arthur I. Miller offers a rigorous and eloquent exploration of the potential benefits of a relationship between collaborators: humans and machines. That is, geniuses and the most advanced computers who contribute natural intelligence (NI) and artificial intelligence (AI).

“This book strives to look into [questions about the humans’ potential collaborations with  AI]. It is about creativity in the age of machines — our creativity and their creativity — [which I define as] the production of new knowledge from  already existing knowledge and is accomplished by problem solving.” In fact, Miller suggests there are two marks of genius that cannot be taught: The ability to discover the key problem, and, the ability to spot connections.

Almost anyone can connect dots, real or imagined. The challenge is to connect the right dots…correctly.

“As Einstein observed, creativity is all about problem solving, and the first step is to find the problem. Let’s look at the seven hallmarks of the big-C Creativity And the two marks of genius in more detail and see how they emerge from the lives of great thinkers.” Miller studied several hundred and shares what he learned from  them.

These are the seven hallmarks:

1. The Need for Introspection
2. Know Your Strengths [and Weaknesses]
3. Focus, Persevere, and Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes
4. Collaborate and Compete
5. Beg, Borrow, and Steal Great Ideas
6. Thrive on Ambiguity
7. The Need for Experience and Suffering

The seven hallmarks are thoroughly discussed on Pages 9-19. The two marks of genius were previously noted. Miller also explores what he views as four stages of big-C Creativity: Conscious Thought, Unconscious Thought, Illumination, and Verification.

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Arthur I. Miller is Emeritus Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at University College London. He took a PhD in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 1991 to 2005 he was Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at University College London.

The Artist in thd Mchine: The World of AI-Powered Creativity was published by MIT Press (October 2019).

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