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  • Writer's picturePiotr

Is There ART in Artificial?

Written in collaboration with the AI The period of partnership between people, machines and artificial intelligence has started some time ago. It brought with it new challenges and new opportunities. A recent study by Forrester Research shows that automation will not ruin businesses, it will only transform the concept of a workforce. The results of this study suggest that automation and artificial intelligence could create approximately 15 million new jobs in the US alone over the next ten years. Today's businesses need to be technologically savvy and should embrace new types of skills. The report also suggests that there is a need for more creative thinking in the workplace. This can lead to a change in the way we work as well as the way we think about our creativity. 
 What does all of this mean for artists and art audiences? 
 Will the future of art depend on the ability to create something unique and original, or will we just settle for visual decorative qualities in the style of a chosen artist from the past that Al is able to generate today? What if Al was able to break the barrier of creating things that only humans can consider art? In my opinion, true creative independence for Al can only come through its complete emancipation from human expectations. If that happened, however, there would be no creature in the universe capable of understanding and appreciating these "creations." Without a potential audience operating within similar frequencies, there can be no function of art. 
So far, AI can only aspire to be just another human art form, or even just a tool: a very advanced pencil or a brush. Advanced, but not perfect, because not without limits. In the visual arts, AI is still limited to drawing, painting and sculpture that "look" like any lay-person would expect them to look. I remember a quote from an anonymous artist with whom I partially agree: "Whatever wants to look like art is not art." 
 So far, Al has not broken this barrier of human expectations, and its work hasn't been able to climb to the heights of innovation achieved by revolutionary flesh and blood artists. I can confidently predict that artificial intelligence will never achieve the revelation of Malevich's black square, because true expression surpasses itself beyond its prescribed and predictable form, and the computer works only according to its pre-programmed parameters. Would it be then possible to encode the output parameter of AI expression to surpass itself? I'm not sure about that. 

Creating is much more fun if we don't know "what to do next" 

 Cy Twombly painted in a dark room or with his eyes closed to avoid the negative influence of his mind's predictability on the painting. What is the point of the story if we know the ending? Images generated by artificial intelligence provide us with this kind of surprise to some extent, but since all you have to do is type in a keyword and sit down comfortably, it starts to resemble passive watching TV instead of active creation. The same goes for music. AI has created songs that are not only beautiful, but also very interesting and unique. When we hear a song, whether it's made by a flesh and blood composer or by a robot, we can be inspired by it in the same way. Many artists have created amazing works of art, but never really had the opportunity to "create" them. Like Cy Twombly in a dark room, they limited their control over their own creations. After all, Pollock's “splashes” are controlled by the artist only to a certain extent. 
Many creative strategies that are based on chance fall into the same category.

So far, artificial intelligence shows us composites of images randomly assembled from millions of search engine results, which in a sense can be viewed as a collective human experience, but this dream remix of said experience turns it into a surreal nightmare - a collective brain diarrhea. 
Yes, the computer program is more than able to generate perfectly black perfectly even square but it wouldn't know the reasons to do so. It's not just about the visual effects. It is also about the emotional impact of audiovisual stimuli on people. What we perceive evokes emotions. This is how art works. This is how nature works. Raindrops refracting the sunlight do not "worry" about our perception and our emotional reaction, and yet the sight of a rainbow triggers admiration and emotion in us every time. 
Can perceiving objects generated by artificial intelligence be seen as a kind of looking at a rainbow? This can be safely confirmed without negative judgment. 
 But is this "rainbowy admiration" the only thing that should be expected from artists? 
Here we should argue. After all, childishly naive admiration for the more or less universally understood beauty or the quirkiness of form is not the only condition for experiencing art. This is where lies the problem with calling artificial intelligence the autonomous creator.

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