Blog: Can Artificial Intelligence Create Art?

Christine Alfery

Posted on June 12 2019

Blog: Can Artificial Intelligence Create Art?

 Featured image: Little Brown Bird

Just read this in the on line version of Freize Art News. All I can say is “she” cannot come up with a concept, a theory, an idea so no “she” will never be an artist. Here is a clip from the article:

The announcement from Midas Public Relations tells me that Ai-Da is ‘the first ultra-realistic, humanoid A.I. artist in the world.’ Ai-Da – which I’d call an ‘it,’ although ‘its’ creator Aidan Meller prefers the pronoun ‘she’ – ‘has a ‘RoboThespian’ body, featuring an expressive range of movements and she has the ability to talk.’ Ai-Da also has a ‘Mesmer head’, which makes me worried that I’m going to be mesmerized into doing something against my will. That is, if I’m not so freaked out by the robot’s ‘realistic silicone skin, 3D printed teeth and gums, integrated eye cameras [and] individually punched hair’ that I’ve run screaming in the opposite direction from Lady Margaret Hall, the Oxford University college at which Ai-Da is being unveiled to the world. 

What am I expecting? Pris from Bladerunner (1982)? Ava from Ex Machina (2014)? HAL in a smock? Ai-Da appears to be more like an old-fashioned automaton. This is a machine in the lineage of Jacques de Vaucanson’s mechanical duck, which ate and shat grain in front of Louis XV in 1739, or Pierre Jaquet-Droz’s draughtsman, built in the early 1770s. Ai-Da is reassuringly slow-moving, easily out-run if it turns killer, but it was born in a creepy stretch of the uncanny valley. The face mimics that of a young woman in make-up, with waxy skin, full lips and dark eyes, wearing an expression that looks both disdainful and heavily medicated. Long dark hair falls over an artfully paint-stained shirt. The robot has two arms, one of which hovers over a sheet of paper, ready to draw. This assembly of motors, gears and levers, translates mathematical co-ordinates into marks on the page. These co-ordinates are generated by algorithms, processing data from cameras in Ai-Da’s eyes. Its drawings include portraits of computer pioneers Alan Turing, Charles Babbage and its namesake, Ada Lovelace. They have a spindly, tentative quality, as if left aside to be returned to and worked on again at a later point. The marks are mostly uninflected, few of them joining together, giving the roughly delineated heads the impression of disintegrating, or emerging through thick fog.

And no to the “I” in the me to generation and the new CAMP exhibition at the MOMA.  Whenever the “I” is governed by another there is no ‘I.”  CAMP is still trying to govern/control the ‘I” through collective thought and the concepts of freedom, independence and the individual. These concepts to date have never been part of a collective – thank goodness.

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