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TEDx Silicon Alley

Creativity 2020


I'm doing a panel Tuesday evening up at BloombergNYC to discuss Creativity [in] 2020.

Now 'creativity' will be exactly the same in 2020.

Because, well, creativity is a process - an approach to the interaction of the world and people's minds.

Creativity is the faculty which performs operations on the inputs - the only thing in your head that you didn't get in there by seeing it. 

[I seem to ascribe to a light tabula rasa theory of consciousness - that is to say I think all the 'knowledge' inside your head probably came from somewhere, even if you aren't conscious of having perceived or retained it, hence any idea is simply a novel combination of things you have experienced in some fashion, but I suspect the faculties, or some aspects of some cognitive faculties, are likely innate - such as the combinatorial faculty of imagination, which seems to be some aspect of how brains work.]

And that won't change because we have faster computers or more awesome fabric softeners or augmented reality contact lenses.

But we have a tendency to conflate creativity - the process - with craft - the execution thereof.

And by 2020 the craft will be very different indeed. 


And by 2020, there will be lots of new combinations to make combinations from. 

Certainly lots more traditional cultural expressions of creativity - but also lots more engineered, software created, bioengineered flesh grown, intelligent agent modelled, robotic combinations. 

This is obviously a speculative excercise - the event horizon is too far for us to really have much of an idea - but it will make for interesting discussion decoupled from the obvious considerations of today. 

But, when speculating on the future, it's worth bearing two things in mind - or one thing in two different articulations.

1. Amara's Law:

"We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run."

2. Back to the Future 2:

With the hoverboards, holograms, and awesome sneakers, was set in 2015, which seemed reasonable in 1989. 

Come say hi.