Who could have imagined that a robot would be capable of making new artwork, and that this artwork would exceed auction records as well as the works of the greatest painters?
The story is real. Last year, a portrait of Edmond Belamy painted by an Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithm was sold for $435,000 at Christie’s in New York. A story that has caused rivers of ink to flow on the authorship of the artwork and on the question of whether the product of AI can really be considered art and creativity.
Did you mean an artist?
According to Romy Lorenz, cognitive neuroscientist, the answer to this question would depend on how one defines creativity. “If creativity means finding completely new ways to solve problems, then AI has already achieved that,” she says. Moreover, it is commonly accepted that AI is a set of techniques and technologies that can solve complex problems by drawing inspiration from humans.
In this case, feeding the machine with data (input) so that it can generate algorithms is nothing more than the environment in which the artist is exposed and inspired to create his artwork. So what really distinguishes AI from an artist?
According to H Segal, artistic creation supposes for the creator to create “a world of its own,” to seek “a new and different reality”. However, this creation needs an internal world, desires and fears that AI does not seem to have, according to Romy Lorenz.
A new generation of artists
As a result, to our knowledge AI currently cannot be considered to be a fully-fledged artist in its own right. Rather, with the advent of GAN, it appears to be an extremely promising technology capable of providing an AI-specific creative capacity.
In the meantime, a new generation of artists will emerge and face several challenges. The first challenge is to resolve legal issues, particularly the authorship of the artwork. The second challenge is to address ethical matters concerning AI. In fact, AI could be used to reduce human creativity by those who want to earn money, but it is people who are responsible for doing that, not the technology, according to Professor Grierson.