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Original artwork generated by AI developed at the Rutgers’ Art and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

The Relationship Between Art and AI

Art is how we’ll imagine new ways to use AI that could help us survive, even evolve.

Why do humans create art?

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Chauvet Cave in Ardèche, France contains some of the most well preserved figurative cave paintings in the world, dating back 32,000 years ago to the Upper Paleolithic Ice Age.

These are same abilities we are now trying to emulate with the machines: memory, language, understanding, reasoning, learning, expression, pattern recognition.

These are the core components of AI.

AI as an Impersonator

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Google AI’s Style Transfer model. Four original pieces of artwork (one in each corner) being combined in gradients of proportions to a new photograph.
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Original photograph of Tübingen Google applied the blended styles to.

“You don’t press a button and something looks amazing.

I’ve learned the quirks and the personality traits of the algorithm.”

Chris Rodley on using style transfer program, DeepArt.io

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Dinosaur x Flower, by Chris Rodley
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Napoleon Bonapart A2 by Reddit User vic8760
2001: A Picasso Odyssey blended a sequence of shots from 2001: A Space Odyssey with Picasso’s painting style.
An original composition by Sony Computer Science Labratory’s AI, DeepBach.
An original composition of metal by the AI, Databots.
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Nvidia’s image-to-image translator

If we want AI to help us say something new, we have to use it as more than a supercharged Xerox machine.

AI as a Collaborator

Amper demo from 2017
Demo of NSynth Super from 2018

Without AI as a collaborator to create new blends of old sounds, we would never be able to hear the tones you just listened to in this video.

A photographer goes out into the world and frames good spots, I go inside these neural networks, which are like their own multidimensional worlds, and say ‘Tell me how it looks at this coordinate, now how about over here?’

Mario Klingemann

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Portrait created with AI by Mario Klingemann

The process of how an algorithm is constructed to generate an artistic output is becoming an art form in and of itself.

Source Festival Algorave, 2017

AI doesn’t just collaborate by processing images and sounds through math equations. It can also inform and inspire artists who want to discover new insights, connections, or pattens across a large set of data points — like the trending emotions of the entire world for example.

AI as a Creator

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Human subjects tested by the Rutger’s AI Lab considered these AI generated images to be the most like real art

Art + AI tomorrow

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What art has taught us about AI so far

Art is how we explore who we are and who we want to become as AI changes the picture of daily life.

The questions we need art to help answer

We need art to imagine what AI can become, and understand it’s impact on who we are becoming.

The possibilities we need art to help us understand

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The Red Robot in the Blue Underground Cave by evanlai

There’s no denying that by giving machines the same abilities that inspired us to create art (memory, language, expression, understanding, reasoning, learning), it may one day decide to make art of its own.

Art is always the beginning.

IBM Design

Stories from the practice of design at IBM

 by the author.

Jennifer Aue (Sukis)

Written by

IBM Distinguished Designer & Director for AI Transformation. Advanced Design for AI professor at the University of Texas. Co-host of AI Zen with Andrew and Jen.

IBM Design

Stories from the practice of design at IBM

Jennifer Aue (Sukis)

Written by

IBM Distinguished Designer & Director for AI Transformation. Advanced Design for AI professor at the University of Texas. Co-host of AI Zen with Andrew and Jen.

IBM Design

Stories from the practice of design at IBM

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