Artificial intelligence or AI is rapidly changing tech industries worldwide. In almost all aspects of our lives, artificial intelligence is at play. But do you know that artificial intelligence is also rapidly colonizing and changing the art world?
AI creating art would have been unthinkable 50 or so years ago. But in today’s time, we have come in the age where advancements in computers are being made left and right every single day. Now, the idea that AI can make art or even compete with people in creating art is a reality. Can you even draw? Can you draw a house or a tree as beautiful as an AI artist? Perhaps you can try to learn how to paint, or cook, or even make a movie from the experts in these fields with the online tutorial website Masterclass. Enroll in Masterclass with discount coupons. Get your Masterclass Coupon Codes here.
IS AI MERELY A MIMIC OF HUMAN COMPETENCE?
A parrot can mimic human words. But the utterance of words, whether it is real communications or mere mimic of sounds, can be a controversial topic for some. When it comes to artificial intelligence, people and experts often refer to a machine’s ability to compute to be an imitation or simulation of human intelligence. Much like how a parrot mimics a human voice, computers mimic human intelligence.
AI is often described as a mirror of a human’s capacity to think. Through complex programming that allows the machine to compute for probability and make sense of patterns. Computers can make a sound analysis of human problems and provide worthwhile solutions to address these problems. However, a point of debate for many, is the process of computing, analyzing, and suggestions made by an AI can be considered actual thinking?
Many novelists have imagined a world where AI and human intelligence would be on the same level. Many even imagined scenarios where robots have taken over and have shown superior intelligence to humans.
But so far, no AI has ever shown the capability to introspect, imagine, or even debate over problems. Sure, we are now seeing AI in almost all aspects of our lives. From our homes to industries, AI is employed to manufacture goods or even make informed decisions. In the last recent years, AI has been featured in many art exhibits. There had been a few dozens AIs that have quite made a buzz or even received success in the art world.
But their ubiquitousness is yet to show AI similar to the intelligence of humans, which is derived from an awareness of self and of the world. So does this mean that AIs cannot produce art? Where the exhibited “art pieces” supposedly made by machines actually art?
CASE STUDY ON CREATIVITY: ANALYSIS OF HOW HUMANS SHOW CREATIVITY AND ITS COMPARISON TO ARTWORK PRODUCED BY AI
For us to have full comprehension of the artistry of artificial intelligence, perhaps we need first to define what creativity is. Different artists and philosophers have attempted to define creativity. Some experts even go beyond defining the term and instead developed systematic criteria that could be ticked off one by one in order to determine if a processor if an action is an act of creativity. One specialist on art and creativity provide criteria that could best determine a work of creativity. Using these criteria, we can assess how artificial intelligence is redefining creativity and artistry.
In order to assess whether AI is capable of creativity, we are going to use these criteria to examine the creativity and artistry of the paintings developed by the computer program called Generative Adversarial Network. We will use the criteria for creativity and then show an example of such criterion from a human’s art and then use that example to analyze Generative Adversarial Network.
Popularly known by its acronym GAN, this computer software has been featured and many art exhibitions for the images it produced by consolidating the thousands of images inputted into it by its programmers. It was invented in 2014 and has since been a staple in many exhibits. In 2018, a painting produced using GAN was auctioned and sold for a jaw-dropping US$ 432,500.
FIRST CRITERION: NOVELTY – The first thing that comes to mind when talking about creative work is the newness of the idea behind the product or item created. Indeed, novelty as a criterion of creativity requires a thing to be new or original in order for it to be defined as a product of creativity. It is important to stress that when speaking about Novelty, we are not just talking about the inherent newness of the product. Novelty, by definition, also encompasses the following:
- The newness of the method by which the product is produced,
- The newness of ways of acting or thinking, and,
- Unique changes in methods of operation and organization.
As a point of comparison, we are first going to show an example of human creativity that illustrates novelty and then, later on, compare it to analyze GAN’s creativity or lack of. A very good example of human creativity showing novelty is the introduction of low waist jeans by Alexander McQueen in his 90s runway collection. Waistline has always been part of dressmaking, but the waist in clothes’ has always been located near the belly button. When Alexander McQueen introduced low-waist jeans, he showed novelty in introducing a new silhouette where the waist of the pants falls in the middle of the hips. To many art and fashion historians, this was a turning point in fashion as never before had this kind of silhouette been introduced.
In comparison to novelty shown by McQueen in his creation, the software GAN is said to produce “art pieces” by randomly analyzing and mixing thousands of images fed into it by its programmer. The resulting “artwork” possesses enough distinction from all the pictures inputted to GAN that proponents of its creativity consider GAN’s creation new or novel.
SECOND CRITERION: VALUE – This criterion defines creativity as possessing inherent meaning for the individuals or the community for/from which the art piece was produced. Given this, an item is said to possess Value if it is being bestowed with a special relevance or meaning from/by the artist or group of artists who created this item. The value of the work of creativity can be given such relevance due to its beauty, usefulness, therapeutic effect, influence, among others.
Modern art, especially the more abstract works of art, are considered to be works of creativity because of their inherent meaning to the world that enjoys it. For instance, even though the modern aesthetics of the Brutalist movement in architecture has been greatly maligned for being dull or ugly. The architectures created under such style are meaningful as they reflect the mid-20th century’s focus on utility, practicality, and form rather than an extravagant showing of excess and beauty.
In terms of the creativity of the “arts” produced by GAN, the pictures that it produced are being valued by the community at large due to its underlying meaning to the very definition of art. The “arts” produced by GAN questions the way people reflect on the nature of art. As such, its meaning or value lies not on its beauty or form but on the discourse on art that its existence compels people to make.
Given the above-mentioned criteria, we can safely say that the works created by artificial intelligence GAN were indeed creative. It is able to produce original work even though it has done this using different pictures that were submitted to it. Secondly, it has value. The art world considers the creations of GAN works of arts, so much so that an image produced from was sold at an auction for staggering more than four hundred grand.
Furthermore, its existence pushes the boundary of what can be said as an art and makes artists, academes, and art patrons question the very essence of art. Through the works of artificial intelligence, we are now dissecting the very meaning of the word art.
For enterprising individuals, the case of GAN is a great example of how the fast-changing world is driving growth in the most unexpected ways. A lesson to be had in this is pushing the boundaries of the industry you work in and introduce new ideas and products to the market. GAN was first developed as a computer program for game development. Soon enough it has been used for many different uses and has finally produced art worth more than four hundred thousand grand. As a businessperson, it is up to you to learn your market and take the risk to introduce something they probably have not seen before.