Art Intelligence ≠ (Artificial) Intelligence

Art Intelligence ≠ (Artificial) Intelligence

In 2018 we saw AI-produced Edmond De Belamy artwork auctioned off by Christie's at a groundbreaking price prompting debate and discussion. In 2019 we also heard an AI created interpretation of J S Bach’s 8th Symphony at the Barbican Art Centre around the 11th anniversary of the launch of Bloom the phone app by Brian Eno and Peter Chilvers that enabled anyone to create music, simply by touching the screen.

The design then is a play on humans engaging with different art media as well as how technology is increasingly used to produce or enable art. But who or what now has conscious agency over the artistic component of a work of art? And what interesting intersections of commerce, ethics and law will occur a la Warner Bros and Prince given that labels signing a record deal with the AI-powered music app Endel.

Artificial intelligence is fantastic at interpreting patterns just as chemicals and charged coupled devices are great at painting with light. Sometimes AI produces variations on averages or extremes of these patterns and even produces new variations but do they comprehensively incorporate data in their training. Is this novelty what was envisioned and is it truly creative? (And sometimes the sensors used to provide the data are tricked as shown by moire effect on the man’s shirt) How can we and/or  should we differentiate AI’s mastery of statistical sorcery and synthesis masquerading as consciously and self-determined creative artistic acts? And just what is art in today and tomorrows world? What is an AI’s intelligence quotient, emotional quotient … or its AQ (Artistic quotient)?

 Quote: A technological society, quite automatically and without any malign intent, upsets the artist by taking over and transforming the idea of craft, and by endlessly reproducing objects which are not art objects but sometimes resemble them. Technology steals the artist’s public by inventing sub-artistic forms of entertainment and by offering a great counterinterest and a rival way of grasping the world.”

Dame Iris Murdoch

Quote: “The emotion of beauty is always obscured by the appearance of the object. Therefore, the object must be eliminated from the picture."

Piet Mondrian (Check out our "Smart Moron ..." design on various products)

Quote: We don’t seek the perfect work of art. Instead, through art, we learn about being human. We connect emotionally, physically and socially with the artist and their process of making art. Now if a machine can effectively simulate these properties of human art would we feel the same way about art as a whole? Would we be okay with being, in essence, fooled by an artificially intelligent algorithm into believing that it understood what it means to be human?”

Professor Jon McCormack, Director - Sensilab, Monash University. He gives a very interesting short talk on the topic on a podcast (inspiring the design’s reference to Aaron, Ada, Robbie)"Algorithms that make art" on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Ockhams Razor program first broadcast 10 March 2019.

See also:

(1) Grayson Perry’s interesting BBC Reith Lecture series on art "Playing to the Gallery” – episode 1.

(2) Global music technology star Jean Michel Jarre talked about his “Equinoxe Infinity” album on the "BBC’s Digital Planet podcast”. Jean-Michel talked about bridging the gap between technology and humans as part of saving the planet.

(3) AI running on a Huawei smartphone was also used by Lucas Cantor to enable a world premiere of Schubert’s Unfinished 8th Symphony during Feb 2019 in London’s Cadogan Hall. Cantor described the process of using the phone as like having a collaborator who never gets tired nor ever running out of ideas.

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