The Artist in the Machine: The World of AI-Powered Creativity

7.00pm to 8.30pm, Monday 30 September

The Theatre

The Royal Institution of Great Britain GB United Kingdom W1S 4BS 21 Albemarle Street London

This event has already taken place

  • Credit: Leon Gatys


Standard £16


Concession £10


Ri Members and Ri Patrons £7

Event description

Today's computers compose music that sounds 'more Bach than Bach', turn photographs into paintings in the style of Van Gogh's Starry Night, and even write screenplays. But are computers truly creative - or are they merely tools to be used by musicians, artists, and writers? Join Arthur I Miller on a tour of creativity in the age of machines, taking us inside the world of artists and computer scientists who are working on the cutting edge of artificial intelligence. We will meet researchers who have, among much else, unleashed an artificial neural network to create a nightmarish, multi-eyed dog-cat; taught AI to imagine; developed a robot that improvises jazz; and scripted and composed the world’s first computer-created musical. And we will encounter machines that have defeated grand masters at chess and Go. The great question Arthur will ask is: will machines one day overtake humans completely?

About the speaker

Arthur I Miller is a writer and scientist who has written many critically-acclaimed books, including Einstein, Picasso (shortlisted for a Pulitzer); Empire of the Stars (shortlisted for the Aventis Prize); 137; and Colliding Worlds. He is fascinated by creative thinking – the mind’s ability to transform everyday experiences into sublime works of art, literature, music and science. The question he’s been wrestling with is whether computers will one day be able to do the same. To research The Artist in the Machine: The World of AI-Powered Creativity he interviewed over a hundred artists and scientists who are developing AIs that can create art, literature and music. He was excited to encounter these brilliant and multi-facetted minds and hear their stories and to see, hear and read some of their mind-bending creations. Besides books, Arthur writes for the Guardian, The New York Times and Wired. He is professor emeritus at University College London.


The doors will open at approximately 6.30pm, with a prompt start at 7.00pm.

Latecomers will be admitted to the gallery.

Book signing

Copies of Arthur's book, 'The Artist in the Machine: The World of AI-Powered Creativity', will be available for purchase and signing after the talk. 


The theatre is on the first floor and there is step-free access from the 

The theatre is on the first floor and there is step-free access from the street via lift.

The closest underground station is Green Park, which is step-free.

There is space at floor level in the theatre for wheelchair users.

Seating is usually unreserved for our events. If you and your group require seating reservations, please do let us know by email and we’ll be more than happy to help. Email:

Carers can receive a free ticket to an event by emailing

Our theatre is equipped with an Audio Induction Loop. 

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