On this episode of ID the Future Dr. Robert J. Marks, Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Baylor University and former President of the IEEE Neural Networks Council, argues that computer programs cannot be genuinely creative. Computer programs also won’t be able to experience consciousness, he says, never mind all the media hype on this point. Marks concedes that a computer code can surprise us, as when a program playing the game Go makes a surprising move.
But when it does this, it’s following a rigorous algorithm that neatly explains the move. Marks says this isn’t true creativity. If the Go Program learned chess without programming for chess, or invented chess, that would be creative. Marks then defines creativity: “A computer program will be creative if it responds with an output that is inexplicable, that can’t be explained by the computer programmer.” Marks also discusses deep learning and computational neural networks, their promise and limitations. As for quantum computing, it will be dramatically faster but he insists it won’t provide a leap into consciousness. The episode concludes with a discussion of how automation and AI will impact the workplace over the next few decades.