Creativity…. in this age of artificial intelligence it is thought to be the thing that distinguishes us from machines.
Yes AI can be used to perform routine tasks faster with less mistakes, drive cars, read medical images and even talk to us, but machines do not have the inspiration or originality which is the uniquely human ability to be creative. That has all changed with a type of AI called machine learning which is forging a new exciting era for the arts.
In 2018 the auction house Christie’s sold the first piece of art created by a computer. The painting, which ultimately sold for $430,000, was created by a group of artists and AI researchers using a computer algorithm call Generative Adversarial Networks or GAN. They trained the GAN algorithms on 15,000 portraits dating from the 14th century to the current day. The way a GAN works is when two algorithms compete against each other, that’s the adversarial part, one is the generator which creates content and one part is the discriminator which judges the content. The generator makes a new image and then the discriminator tries to spot the difference between a human made image it trained on and one created by the generator. With the two competing with each other, something new is created, a new sort of art. One that is signed with a mathematical equation at the bottom right instead of an artist’s signature.
There’s also been an AI generated movie. The original goal was to see if a computer could win the 48 hour sci-fi London film Festival. The film created from the screenplay made it into the top 10. The following year the same director and creative technologist working with an algorithm Bot that named itself Ben, won third place. Last year the Bot was placed in charge of all aspects of the movie making from writing the screenplay to selecting the score and stringing sentences together using voice recordings from the actors. The result was a film called Zone Out, Silicon Valley and was generally agreed to be a crazy mess. But it demonstrated the potential to generate a complete film using artificial intelligence.
Whether it’s a painting or a movie, AI can generate new art and in the process is redefining what it means to be human.
From Short and Sweet AI, this is Dr. Peper