Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Why AI is not the future of art ( an artists view).


 Impossible Jewellery ( ganbreeder and glic)

Like all tools, AI becomes fetishised by those pushing it as a great disruptor . If we can only collect enough data points or images, essentially cannibalise the totality of all art made up until now and feed those back into our model we can create 'new' artworks that do away with those pesky artists and create something akin to a factory  which can churn out New novels, films, filmstars like the machines used by the ministry of truth in 1984 to feed the masses glib and sugary media that satisfies a craving but never gives insight . Because the approach that a lot of data scientists use is to try and make something like deep fakes - art which convinces you it might have been made by human hands , imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery especially in the case of things like style transfer where essentially we are playing the game of one tune to the sound of another relying on the novelty of seeing a familiar or unfamiliar picture translated into something like something we already know , its a novelty

If AI art seeks to imitate that which has gone before it will fail, if it relies on aping human aesthetics it will fail. What to me is most interesting about AI and machine learning, training is mistraining or mislearning or failure - the parade of freakish faces or buildings which lead us into a new aesthetic unbounded by old paradigms of beauty or balance. I am not interested in faces which do not exist , whatever does not exist or any other fakery which will subsequently be used as an agent of control or obfuscation or  state sponsored hacking or soocial engineering.

Some of the most unique and interesting work being done with AI is by the artists themselves, training and subverting the technology.

Artists such as vadim epstein ( find words and pictures here

Or applications such as gan breeder or art breeder

My argument as an artist is very simple; as in economics those who see advantage in using a technology to corner a market will seek to do so. This is not necessarily a good thing, especially if those doing the cornering are those who set the agenda already leading to a moribund aesthetic  and the exclusion and impoverishment of large swathes of society - their agenda is not ours lets not get caught up in it.

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