In this episode of the Idea to Value Podcast, we speak with Professor Lav Varshney from the University of Illinois about progress in the computational field of Artificial Creativity, whether there is a mathematical limit to creativity and whether a computer will ever write a symphony.

It’s a fascinating episode for anyone who wants to know what separates humans from machines, as creativity can no longer be thought of as an exclusively human trait.

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • How IBM’s Watson team wanted to find the next artificial intelligence challenge after their win on Jeopardy, and settled on creativity (01:30)
  • How they used this technology for creativity in cuisine with Chef Watson (03:30)
  • How can a computer possibly be creative? Isn’t that a human trait? (05:30)
  • How computers are able to assess and select their own creative output (07:30)
  • Is there a mathematical limit to creativity, for a combination of quality and novelty? (10:30)
  • Examples of current artificial creativity: Music Generation (15:30)
  • Examples of current artificial creativity: Visual Arts, engineering and physical sciences (17:30)
  • What aspects of creativity do computers struggle with? (19:30)
  • “The most interesting things come about when you combine human creativity with machine creativity” (21:00)

Links mentioned in this episode:


This episode was made possible by our premium members and the Deep Creativity training system. Sign up now to get exclusive creativity exercises every single day and take your ability to generate ideas to the next level. Use coupon code PODCAST for 25% off your first month. Find out more at

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Creativity & Innovation expert: I help individuals and companies build their creativity and innovation capabilities, so you can develop the next breakthrough idea which customers love. Chief Editor of and Founder / CEO of Improvides Innovation Consulting. Coach / Speaker / Author / TEDx Speaker / Voted as one of the most influential innovation bloggers.