Robot painting with art pallet and canvas

The Art of AI

This time of year is a point of transition, where the beauty of spring grows into the blazing heat of summer. So, I tend to find activities that will get me away from the heat of a Georgia summer. One thing that helps me get my steps in and stay out of the heat is going to art galleries. Having spent some time studying art, I always find it fascinating to put myself in the artwork and into the artist’s perspective. A swarm of questions and thoughts hit me as I consider the source of inspiration for the art that I’m viewing.

Lately, I hit a string of questions that led me to some surprising discoveries. It started with “What is creativity?”, then “Where does it come from?”, or even “Can you become more creative?” But then I started questioning, “Can you program creativity?” If you can program creativity, does that change the definition or how we understand creativity?  

It’s possible to replicate creativity using a few algorithms with your programing language of choice, but this is more representative of the programmer as an artist and the program as the artistic medium. When we introduce Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to the mix, we are no longer replicating creativity but encouraging it. Aidan Meller has done just that with his one of a kind AI driven robot artist, named Ai-Da, after Ada Lovelace.

Ai-Da uses both vision and machine learning to view a subject and then decide how to represent the subject through art. Ai-Da spends hours painting on canvas and no two paintings are ever the same, as Ai-Da continues to learn and adapt over time. The results are stunning pieces of art in different styles of painting. Ai-Da acknowledged during an interview that she doesn’t have an imagination or emotions, and requires a visible subject to interpret. But that interpretation is a result of machine learning. The art Ai-Da creates is amazing, in that she is not the medium but the artist. The fact that she lacks imagination and emotion does not detract from how we can experience her art.  

With AI robots like Ai-Da in our world creating art, poetry, writing stories, and making phone calls, we find ourselves in another form of transition, a transition from a world of human created works to a world influenced by AI created works.  


AI, art, machine learning


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