Fusing Science and Art Through Artificial Intelligence

By: QUEENIE LI


posted on: July 10th, 2019

Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is one of the most prevalent topics in this decade. Scientists are using AI to understand our environment, to diagnose diseases and to explore space. Social media remembers our online history to suggest what we want to read. The application of A.I. is widespread across many industries.

WHAT IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (A.I.)

A.I. is about teaching machines to develop their own intelligence systems through the use of algorithms. Algorithms are like codes to direct machines to react in a specific way.

Yet, A.I. is to take a step further than following these rules. They derive and develop new behaviours from given resources and realistic patterns. As a result, they can ‘learn on their own’.

SCIENTISTS MAKE A.I.-GENERATED ART

Scientists are also eager to develop artwork through A.I. programmes. Victor Dibia is a Nigerian human-computer interaction researcher. Last year, he trained an A.I. system to create African masks. He inputted around ten thousand African mask images into the database. The A.I. programme compared the geometry and texture of the dataset and then generated new mask images.

The project studied the artistic ability of the smart machines. This use of A.I. has introduced African culture into the discussion of computational art.

ARTISTS ARE CURIOUS ABOUT A.I.

The influence of A.I. is far-reaching, and art is no exception. Artists ask questions about the opportunities and risks in the mass adoption of A.I. These questions include:

– Will A.I. develop knowledge that is beyond human’s understanding?

– What are the differences between machines and humans if machines can now think on their own?

Many artists have experimented with A.I. to make novels. For instance, Google Arts & Culture has collaborated with artists to create ‘PoemPortraits’.

This poetry-writing programme asked participants to donate a word. An algorithm incorporates the word into a database of British poetry to create new poems. At the end, participants will receive an A.I.-created poem printed on their self-portraits. The question is, is the art ‘original’ through such productive process?

THE INCLUSIVE STORY OF A.I.

Museums also play an active role in engaging this exciting science. Exhibitions are great ways of presenting the scientific world to the public. Visitors can experience the A.I. technology through different forms of art and illustration. Indeed, museums can reveal unknown stories of the development of A.I.

Women have also engaged with A.I. A famous female African-American computer scientist, Annie Easley (1933-2011) helped developed the ‘Centar’, a system that launched some significant space missions in history.

A.I. bridges the worlds of In the worlds of art and science. Outside its direct application, many efforts are put to make A.I. accessible to everyone in all parts of the world.

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