Art possible with AI algorithms? – knowledge of SWR

Art possible with AI algorithms?  – knowledge of SWR
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Art possible with AI algorithms?  – knowledge of SWR

A painting generated by artificial intelligence prevails over human art in an art competition. Entire exhibitions dedicated to AI art can be visited. But how creative are such works of art, and how does AI actually create art?

Creating art with artificial intelligence (AI) is multifaceted – from musical compositions designed in the style of deceased composers to drone flights that adapt the sequence and flight to the rhythms of music, much is possible today.

Making AI art available to the public

The public can experience AI art, for example, in Salon AI Heilbronn. As part of the AI ​​Innovation Park, one of the largest of its kind in Europe, the project aims to help engage in dialogue with citizens. At the launch event of KI Salon 2022, you could look at moving flowers, listen to Bach-oriented AI music or let AI estimate your own age using image recognition. SWR Science Editor David Beck recorded his impressions:

Download audio (6.7 MB | MP3)

But just as the art of artificial intelligence becomes comprehensible to the public, the question arises as to how artificial intelligence and its use in art work at all.

Here’s how it works: Information is fed into the AI. Machine learning processes different aspects of an image or text and compares them to existing data. From this, the AI ​​learns how to further complete and extend the programmed application.

It is this learning from existing fields that leads to mixed opinions in the public discourse on the art of AI. While some see AI-generated art merely as plagiarism of existing works of art, for others it represents new art. This art form therefore offers great potential for discussion.

Demoing the development around the art of AI

There are various projects to create a space for this critical exploration of artificial intelligence like this one Centers for Arts and Media Karlsruhe. Research assistant Cecilia Preißová primarily sees AI as an opportunity to create something new:

New and sometimes surprising connections and results can emerge from the existing patterns that the machine learning application reconnects.

In addition to potential, the project also examines current developments.

No matter how the art of artificial intelligence is rated, there are risks involved in using artificial intelligence. In various programs for AI art, sources from the Internet are used for algorithms, which can also contain problematic and ethically questionable content. It is also possible to misuse tools and applications to spread misinformation or slander real people. In addition, there are ownership and copyright issues that are not definitively clarified at this time.

AI painting auctioned for the first time by Christie's (Photo: picture-alliance / report services, dpa Bildfunk, Christie's)

The AI ​​painting “Edmond de Belamy” was auctioned in 2018 without the author and rights issues being fully clarified at the time.


Creativity is limited by the existing data set

However, artificial intelligence can also be seen as an option for artists, because with its help, initial ideas can be developed more quickly, thus speeding up the process of creating a work.

Because “artificial intelligence offers tools and should be understood as a medium with which artists can realize creative ideas,” says Preiß.

For example, a data-driven machine learning application is only as intelligent as the dataset it was trained on. AI has no intrinsic motivation and no creative autonomy.

So the creativity factor remains human, while AI still creates art in a sense.

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