Can Data Predict Creativity?

Data is both a boon and a bust. It can tell us we’ve got 2k steps to go to get our 10k step daily requirement. But it can also be manipulated to predetermine our mood and what we engage with, scan, and buy online.

We all knew we were being tracked prior to Snowden’s revelations. We just refused to admit it. Mark Cuban thinks our social data is already being mined to predetermine what kind of person and worker we are. In other words, our retweets are endorsements that can prevent us from getting the job we want, let alone getting paired with the right (or wrong) mate.

But what the data can’t do is predict creativity. The creator is unpredictable. They take influence from an array of sources and combine it with their own vision to produce something original.

“You are what goes through your mind. If you can express it, you’re an artist.” – Agnes Martin

Track our steps. Track our cookies. Track what we read and engage with on Facebook. The algorithms can only make suggestions. It doesn’t know what’s going to make someone curious, emotional, or get up and dance. Data fails at predicting the random.

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of and four books.