"Why is the creative mind so important? Because if it can be done by a machine, there’s no need for you to do it. So, more and more the rewards will go to people who can go beyond what is known, go beyond the algorithm, go beyond the already extant computer program. The cliché that’s typically used is thinking outside the box, and you’ve all heard that phrase. But what I bring to that conversation is you can’t think outside the box, unless you have a box. And the discipline and the synthesizing are the box."
-- Howard Gardner, Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. This quote was taken from a podcast of his Big Ideas lecture for TVO. The lecture contains lots of fascinating thoughts on the nature of human creativity and its relationship to synthesis of past creativity.
Gardner has written Five Minds for the Future and the more recent Responsibility at Work. Two of the five minds Gardner discusses in this lecture, the "ethical" one and the "respectful" one are, I think, increasingly important.