ITGS Syllabus

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Topic 180

implications of creative production by computers using AI, for example, Aaron, an expert system, creates visual art by Dwarkesh

The incorporation of the computer into the artistic arena has nourished a revolution in Contemporary Arts. As a result, important changes have taken place affecting not only the process of generation of artistic works, but also the role of the artist, of the audience and the channels used to display the works of art.

Digital Media:

There is a revolution going on in Contemporary Art that is being nourished by Digital Technology, in particular the Internet. In the past, Art was mainly confined to museums and art galleries, and to experience it, one had to travel to a specific location and enter a physical space that housed the artworks. These days, the Internet has changed all that. Artists are now producing artistic works intended for a global audience, using the computer as a tool for creativity and creating specifically for the Internet. A creative dialogue has been initiated between Art and Technology that has broadened the traditional forms of expression. Visual languages have started to play an important role in electronically mediated communication. Iconography has been developed as an important component of user interface design, and interactivity has become the main purpose of digital artistic tendencies that intend to get the audience involved in the creative process through the use of active agents in communication that replace the old passive communicators. In the turn of the millennium, Digital Art and new Multimedia Technology are being incorporated to Contemporary Art in order to produce artistic manifestations that gather together sound, music, movement, spatial and aesthetic components, and boost up a cycle of increasing globalization of culture.

Artificial Intelligence:

The existence of programs like Aaron, that appear to be creative and recognize creativity, leads us onto the analysis of the role that computers play in the creative process.

Computer music makes use of sounds and allows composers to experiment with computer-generated chords or phrases that they might not have ever discovered by themselves. In the same way, computer graphics or computer animations sometimes produce images of fascinating beauty, and allow human artists to create brand new types of visual effects. Also, writing programs may help both -children and adults- to plan and produce texts of a level of complexity and coherence that could had been hardly achieved without them. Nevertheless, in all these cases a certain level of human supervision is essential to obtain the output concerned.

On the other hand, sometimes it is possible for the human artist to remain apart from the creative process and give the computer full autonomy to become the originator of the artistic work, emulating in this way the creative talents of human musicians, painters, poets or novelists. One of the most successful programs of this type is Aaron, the drawing program which we were referring to earlier.

Aaron is not a typical image generator of what has come to be known as computer art or digital art. Aaron does not generate geometric forms, certainly interesting, but infinitely repeatable. It does not either produce fractals, beautiful and random, despite of not being representative of the items which comprise the world. Aaron is not a tool for painters, designers, draftsmen or animators to be used as a medium to express the creative ideas of the human user. Instead, Aaron is a computer program with a software interface to a hardware drawing device that creates original pictures, each picture different from the others and each one indistinguishable by the uninformed observer from the work of a human artist. As such, Aaron is significant to the computer scientist as well as to the artist, because it uses artificial intelligence to encapsulate and replicate much of the behavior that the artist unconsciously employs to create art.

In fact, Aaron is an interesting computational project that has been developed in several phases. The development from one version of Aaron to the next generally involved a fundamental change in the nature of the program and a radical alteration of the conceptual space that it inhabits. The early Aaron concentrated on spontaneous drawings of abstract forms which could sometimes resemble rocks, sticks, and occasionally, some strange forms of birds or insects. However, under no circumstance was the computer able to produce anything similar to human figures. Later developments of Aaron produced more complex drawings depicting groups of human figures in a jungle or vegetation, whereas the programs most recent images display human figures of a fully three-dimensional type. All the different versions of Aaron can draw new pictures and produce aesthetically satisfying results at the touch of a button.

After evaluating these drawings, some experts agreed that Aaron meets all the criteria necessary to be regarded as a creative tool. It shows the ability to inhabit and explore a conceptual space rich enough to generate indefinitely many surprises. Aaron also shows the capacity of judgment that makes this program able to reconsider past choices and decide what to do next, as well as the aptitude to evaluate various possible structures for it, in order to avoid nonsense and cliché. However, some others experts still refuse to call Aaron creative, since they believe in the assumption that no computer program can really be called creative, no matter what novelties it manages to produce.


Post a Comment

<< Home