Lately there’s been a lot of buzz about and research gone into and continuing to go into the possibility of machines with artificial intelligence creating original art that looks as human-generated as the work appearing at major art fairs. While Google is taking the lead with their AI experimental tools like Magenta and Autodraw & Deep Dreams, many other tech giants are following suit with web & mobile apps like Prisma.
Art is defined as (until now) the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.
Jerrold Levinson, in British Journal of Aesthetics, writes that “Art is intended, as much as anything, to give pleasure and is, by & large, well suited to provide it.”
Being an artist myself, I will still try not to be biased towards art created by humans in this post.
In my opinion, there are the following two things to consider:
No matter what form the expression is in, Art, at its core, has to have been created with Intent. A machine does not create a piece of art with intent or feelings. It’s not in it’s true sense putting a part of itself on a canvas like a human would.
This remind me of one of my all-time favorite scense from Alex Proyas’s movie ‘I, Robot.’ Will smith is questioning Sunny, the robot with a ‘choice’ in a jail cell and while expressing how he, the cop, thinks a robot can never be compared to a human being because they are machines without a soul, he says ‘Can a robot turn a blank canvas into a beautiful masterpiece? Can a robot write a symphony?’. Sunny, without a moment’s hesitation, replies with a counter question, ‘Can you’?
What I would add to this is that no, not every human would be able to turn a blank canvas into a beautiful masterpiece but any human who can will do so with Intent.
I think if we start using AI to create something like art that is intended to provide pleasure through creativity & imagination, we’re headed down a slippery slope because before we not it, art could be reduced to simply pressing a button and taking a nap while AI creates an artwork for you.
This is the more obvious point of the two. If AI is generating a graphic art, credit of creating a masterpiece should not go to the human who either programmed or managed to buy the tool. It’s the machine that has generated art and it should be the one to get credit.
I would love to hear what your thoughts are about this. Do you think AI generated visual works are the future of art?
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