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RCA Challenges ‘Arts Versus Science’ Myths

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Leaders at one of the world’s most prestigious art and design institutions, the Royal College of Art (RCA), have spoken out about the artificial distinction between the creative and scientific industries in the UK.

The Financial Times reports that the creative industries in the UK directly employ 2.1 million people, and concerns are being raised about the recent funding cuts to arts subjects, in favour of science and technology. Many people across the sector argue that scientific and creative thinking often go hand in hand.

The vice-chancellor of the RCA points out that they have students who are designing aerial drones and a tank for submersible robots to mend oil rigs, as well as fine art students. Sir Jony Ive is the RCA chancellor, and he was also the chief design officer at tech giant Apple for over 30 years.

The entrepreneur Sir James Dyson is a graduate of the RCA, as is the architect Sir David Adjaye. Students at a recent RCA show earned themselves partnerships with companies such as Epic Games and Logitech.

The chief executive of Creative UK, Caroline Norbury, said: “When [ministers] want a bit of stardust, they’ll call up someone shiny but we are still fighting decades of prejudice about arts being for a privileged few. The reality is that a school leaver is far more likely to have a sustainable career in games than as a vehicle panel beater.”

Meanwhile, scientists at DeepMind, the Google-owned AI company, have discovered a way to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) for creative purposes. The Independent reports that mathematical work which involves finding new patterns and relationships requires both creativity and calculations.

New research by DeepMind scientists has now found a way to use AI to take on some of the creative work, which has never been achieved before. This is yet another example that having a trained creative mind is one of the most valuable assets in today’s fast-moving and exciting world of technology.


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