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Artificially Intelligent Painters Invent New Styles of Art (newscientist.com) 94

Dthief shares a report from New Scientist: Now and then, a painter like Claude Monet or Pablo Picasso comes along and turns the art world on its head. They invent new aesthetic styles, forging movements such as impressionism or abstract expressionism. But could the next big shake-up be the work of a machine? An artificial intelligence has been developed that produces images in unconventional styles -- and much of its output has already been given the thumbs up by members of the public. The team [of researchers] modified a type of algorithm known as a generative adversarial network (GAN), in which two neural nets play off against each other to get better and better results. One creates a solution, the other judges it -- and the algorithm loops back and forth until the desired result is reached. In the art AI, one of these roles is played by a generator network, which creates images. The other is played by a discriminator network, which was trained on 81,500 paintings to tell the difference between images we would class as artworks and those we wouldn't -- such as a photo or diagram, say. The discriminator was also trained to distinguish different styles of art, such as rococo or cubism. The clever twist is that the generator is primed to produce an image that the discriminator recognizes as art, but which does not fall into any of the existing styles.
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Artificially Intelligent Painters Invent New Styles of Art

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  • Frost psit (Score:4, Funny)

    by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Friday June 30, 2017 @05:02AM (#54718387) Homepage Journal

    Easier way - just give a kindergarten class a load of paint.

    • Easier way - just give a kindergarten class a load of paint.

      Or Koko [wikipedia.org] the gorilla.

      I have also seen youtube videos of elephants painting, although the amount of creativity is disputed since their handler is always nearby.

      • I have seen Elephants in Nepal, painting each other.
        Playing soccer, in teams, aka they knew whom to pass the ball and whom to avoid and played for the correct goal.
        They threw big darts on balloons, kinda laughed when they missed and where excited when they hit.

  • 50% completeness (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    To be complete, it still needs to explain how it decides to paint what it painted using emphatic words...

    • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Friday June 30, 2017 @06:53AM (#54718595)

      Tack a bullshit generator to the AI and you're set.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by DaveyJJ ( 1198633 )

        My work explores the relationship between emerging sexualities and unwanted gifts.

        With influences as diverse as Wittgenstein and Andy Warhol, new synergies are distilled from both constructed and discovered dialogues.

        Ever since I was a teenager I have been fascinated by the unrelenting divergence of relationships. What starts out as contemplation soon becomes manipulated into a manifesto of temptation, leaving only a sense of decadence and the possibility of a new beginning.

        As intermittent phenomena become

        • by tehcyder ( 746570 ) on Friday June 30, 2017 @08:45AM (#54719077) Journal

          My work explores the relationship between emerging sexualities and unwanted gifts.

          With influences as diverse as Wittgenstein and Andy Warhol, new synergies are distilled from both constructed and discovered dialogues.

          Ever since I was a teenager I have been fascinated by the unrelenting divergence of relationships. What starts out as contemplation soon becomes manipulated into a manifesto of temptation, leaving only a sense of decadence and the possibility of a new beginning.

          As intermittent phenomena become frozen through diligent and repetitive practice, the viewer is left with a tribute to the limits of our future.

          Well that pretty much made sense, so I'm not sure you've quite got the hang of it yet.

          • by clovis ( 4684 )

            My work explores the relationship between emerging sexualities and unwanted gifts.

            With influences as diverse as Wittgenstein and Andy Warhol, new synergies are distilled from both constructed and discovered dialogues.

            Ever since I was a teenager I have been fascinated by the unrelenting divergence of relationships. What starts out as contemplation soon becomes manipulated into a manifesto of temptation, leaving only a sense of decadence and the possibility of a new beginning.

            As intermittent phenomena become frozen through diligent and repetitive practice, the viewer is left with a tribute to the limits of our future.

            Well that pretty much made sense, so I'm not sure you've quite got the hang of it yet.

            And his influences seem to be white males.
            I doubt we could have a valuable experience from the art of someone so obsessed with these Euro-patriarchs.

      • Don't forget the stinky cheese and over-priced wine inputs. Only by receiving what it thinks are the "best" inputs can a maximum level of pretension be obtained.
        Oh, Oh!!! Truffle digitizer!!!
    • Nope... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by denzacar ( 181829 ) on Friday June 30, 2017 @07:04AM (#54718623) Journal

      It needs to create "art" based on personal emotional experience AND induce such emotional experience in human audience.

      Otherwise... it's just a drawing, photo, sculpture, video... but not art.
      Just like those "paintings" by monkeys and elephants are not art but paint slapped on canvas.
      Or like how birdsong is not art, an anthill is not architecture and dogs urine on the wall is not graffiti.

      • by arth1 ( 260657 )

        Just like those "paintings" by monkeys and elephants are not art but paint slapped on canvas.
        Or like how birdsong is not art, an anthill is not architecture and dogs urine on the wall is not graffiti.

        With the exception of birdsong. It's intended to provoke an emotional response in the (bird) listener, and succeeds. That's one of the definitions of art.

        • With the exception of birdsong.

          I'm going to have to second birdsong. Apparently some companies think they have a copyright on it too. [slashdot.org]

        • With the exception of birdsong. It's intended to provoke an emotional response in the (bird) listener, and succeeds. That's one of the definitions of art.

          That's provocation of A response... not THE response which the original bird is "feeling".

          We humans call that talking. Exchange of information. Through a medium. But that's it.
          And sure... listening to someone talk CAN provoke an emotional response - but if it is NOT the intended response AND if it's not matching the attempted emotional response... it's not art.
          Think of an actor whose tragic portrayal of a sad story becomes a farce and makes the audience laugh instead of crying.

      • It doesn't matter what we call this, I think most people would not be interesting in looking at it for any length of time. I know I'm not. However we define art, an art piece reflects the inside world of the person who made it. It gives us the observers a glimpse into another psyche different from our own and that's fascinating, it's almost a form of telepathy. Here, there's no psyche, no inside world to look at, and so it's uninteresting. It's just some graphics.

        • It gives us the observers a glimpse into another psyche different from our own and that's fascinating, it's almost a form of telepathy.

          Except that in most cases, the artist feels one thing, and the viewer feels something entirely different.

          Here, there's no psyche, no inside world to look at, and so it's uninteresting.

          Just by looking at the paintings, you wouldn't guess that, so they are equally interesting. Proof: the audience liked these better than the stuff made by 'real' artists.

        • However we define art, an art piece reflects the inside world of the person who made it. It gives us the observers a glimpse into another psyche different from our own and that's fascinating, it's almost a form of telepathy. Here, there's no psyche, no inside world to look at, and so it's uninteresting. It's just some graphics.

          Yes.

          I think most people would not be interesting in looking at it for any length of time.

          No.

          Human minds have a... not so much a need but a necessary operating function to attach meaning to things.
          Plenty of humans LOVE gazing into essentially meaningless patterns of shapes and colors and finding in them something they "recognize".

          It's not art... but it may be psychologically pleasing. Like a puzzle you can solve over and over.

        • I rather like one piece (upper right) and wouldn't mind a print of that on the wall. However I wouldn't call that a "new style" either.

      • It needs to create "art" based on personal emotional experience AND induce such emotional experience in human audience.

        Otherwise... it's just a drawing, photo, sculpture, video... but not art. Just like those "paintings" by monkeys and elephants are not art but paint slapped on canvas.

        Some of the paintings to which you refer are clearly relatable to human experience. The animals doing the painting are always well socialized with humans and the animal artists clearly have emotions similar to that of humans.

        Which would you rate as art? The 5-year-old kid studiously filling in a paint-by-the-numbers coloring book, or Koko the gorilla rendering a freestyle image that is clearly and object and a setting she has seen such as a bird or her pet cat?

        If you understand anything at all about art

        • Neither of those is art. Both the child and the gorilla are just slapping paint on canvas while matching patterns.

          But if you DESIGN a paint-by-numbers coloring book which will induce your emotions about the experience depicted in the drawing, in the children who would be doing the coloring...
          That'd make you a pretty darn good child psychologist, at the very least. Probably a great artist as well.
          But you'd have to do more than just drawing scary pictures which frighten the little children. A fuckin clown can

      • Most art is not based on personal emotional experience. Most art exists because it makes money.
        Sure, you might not call it "art" but most people do call it art regardless.

        I looked at the image shown in TFA (https://d1o50x50snmhul.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/29152753/aipainter.jpg). The top three images make sense and I particularly like #1 and #3. The bottom ones are crap.

        • Uh... no.
          Artist creates because he (or she) MUST create. Because there is a need for expression.

          Money is just one way we've figured out for dealing with our own response to such expression. Putting a price tag on it.
          It helps when dealing with unimaginative people. Just think of all the times you heard about some scientific discovery, from the Moon Landing to penicillin, described in dollar values.
          Cause some people can't stretch their minds grasp the mindbogglingly huge impact of such discoveries. But give t

          • "50 shades of grey" disagrees with you.
            The world is choke full of horrible works of art created for the sole purpose of bringing income. They might not fit with your personal definition of art, but they are art by definition: "the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination" - something that indeed induces emotional experience, but doesn't necessarily require emotion to be created.

            • Besides that hardly qualifying as art (it is barely writing) - you should pick you examples better.

              That thing started as Twilight fan fiction. [wikipedia.org]
              Literally written cause someone HAD to have that fantasy pushed out.

              "the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination"

              Except that, dictionary-like, definition is crap.
              On par with "the round fruit of a tree of the rose family, which typically has thin red or green skin and crisp flesh".
              Clearly, you can tell right away that it is defining an orange, right.

              Mere expression is not enough. Nor is creative skill enough.
              Plop

      • induce such emotional experience in human audience.

        The audience liked them, so it probably did.

        • But did the machine like them?
          Maybe machine hated them. Maybe it was just clearing its nozzles.

          The same emotional response must exist on both sides of the emotional exchange.
          Artist must feel the emotions he/she encapsulates in the work of art - and the audience must feel the same emotions when experiencing the artwork.

          And no... You can't go "Well... MAYBE the machine felt it..."
          That would be just reading-in meaning into meaningless patterns, with a large dose of anthropomorphizing of machines.

  • Great (Score:5, Funny)

    by volodymyrbiryuk ( 4780959 ) on Friday June 30, 2017 @05:26AM (#54718439)
    Now the robo workers that will replace us in 20 years have something to spend their money on.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This will produce new art because humans and AI will get new ideas from each other, then produce results and those results are fed back in to the creative loops.

    Somewhat similar effect can be seen between tabletop games and computer games. Both 'platforms' benefit from the design developments done in either camp.

    • by arth1 ( 260657 )

      This will produce new art because humans and AI will get new ideas from each other, then produce results and those results are fed back in to the creative loops.

      That's not necessarily a good thing. Flood the market and exclusivity doesn't mean much anymore. The market gets saturated and the users satiated.

      Somewhat similar effect can be seen between tabletop games and computer games. Both 'platforms' benefit from the design developments done in either camp.

      Which is a prime example of over-saturation. People spend less time on both tabletop games and computer games now, and classics like Monopoly, (A)D&D, Doom and Half-Life just don't happen anymore. Or rather, they happen, but they are a dime a dozen and don't stand out.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Friday June 30, 2017 @06:32AM (#54718543) Journal
    Human beings are notorious for seeing patterns in noise. They see a man in the craters of the Moon, various objects in cloud formations, deduce cause and effect for natural events, (Saturn in the seventh house means, Mr Bhagat Singh Thonde will lose his case in the Supreme Court, because Justice Sutherland has Jupiter in the seventh house. Because Jupiter and Saturn are insanely jealous of each other and they never pass a chance to beat each other up, everyone knows that).

    And there is no better noisy environment than "high art" where paint by numbers picture might win the first prize much to the embarrassment of the officials, and museums mount art works upside down unbeknownst to the patrons as well as the artist!

    AI pitted against humans in seeing patterns in noise, is probably a high point, acme, zenith of intelligence. What next? Illusions of grandeur?

    • I see goatse guy lurking in at least two of those pictures
      • by clovis ( 4684 )

        I see goatse guy lurking in at least two of those pictures

        Thanks to Slashdot, I see goatse guy every time I start to fall asleep while sober.
        Fortunately, there's an easy fix.

    • What next? Illusions of grandeur?

      They'd have to be, since they haven't been programmed to suffer from delusions of grandeur yet. But illusions? That's apparently right up their alley already.

    • by Udom ( 978789 )
      Computer art... Pareidolia, also called patternicity, is the tendency to find meaning in meaningless data. Most people can easily find patterns in clouds, or oil slicks, or craters on the moon etc. Add to that the expectations keyed by context and you have art placebos.
  • by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Friday June 30, 2017 @07:28AM (#54718697) Homepage Journal

    The clever twist is that the generator is primed to produce an image that the discriminator recognizes as art, but which does not fall into any of the existing styles.

    Yet every example I saw on that page was abstract.

    • That was my thoughts exactly, didn't seem to be anything new or original in the style at all.
    • Yet every example I saw on that page was abstract.

      What were you expecting? Realistic paintings would required a general understanding of the world that is far beyond the capabilities of this system.

      • They specified claimed a whole new art style, what is their is NOT anything new style wise at all. What I expected was something different, it was just meh!
  • "One creates a solution, the other judges it "

    Wouldn't work for natural intelligence artists, they think every other artist's work sucks.

  • Thankfully I now have an article to link when people tell me how development can easily be automated but "creative" jobs can't be.

  • by imatter ( 2749965 ) on Friday June 30, 2017 @10:06AM (#54719593)
    The AI did not actually create the art. The programmer gave the AI the ability and method for which to create the art, therefore the programmer is the artist and the AI is simply his brush. AI does not exist without the programmer. If it ever does, its name will no longer contain the word artificial.
    • The AI did not actually create the art. The programmer gave the AI the ability and method for which to create the art, therefore the programmer is the artist and the AI is simply his brush.

      Way to forget the fundamental theorem of computation on the equivalence of data and program.

      Program: A few grad students over a few months, on top of program libraries composed by a few hundred grad students over a few decades, on top of general-purpose computational abstractions as devised by a few thousand notable wonks

    • Children can't speak. The parents gave it the ability and method, therefore the parents are the speakers, and the child is simply their mouth. Children don't exist without their parents.

  • Sure, let's just twist "intelligence" and "art" to mean nothing.

    The machine has no will, no soul, no innate purpose; therefor no intelligence.
    It has nothing to express, so it can't make art.

    This kind of thing just promotes soullessness. It's a literal, physical opposite of art. Instead of inspiring you toward living life, it 'inspires' you to be complacent with death.

    Sure, the idiotic researchers making this poison are probably 'innocent' and just think they are 'progressing science', but the people funding

    • Or... you could recognize that a lot of art is crap that is only valued by pretentious art fans, and having algorithm-designed art that the public enjoys more shows that up for what it it.

    • The machine has no will, no soul, no innate purpose; therefor no intelligence.
      That depends on your Weltbild or more precisely religion.

      I for my part as an atheist would say: nothing has a soul.

      On the other hand most animistic religions, e.g. Shinto, would say: everything has a soul.

      Up to you if your AI painting robot or car manufacturing robot has a soul or not.

      I find religions that put souls in some things and no souls in the rest rather irritating :D

  • The question is, does a donkey's tail count as an early form of AI? http://aworldelsewhere-finn.bl... [blogspot.gr]
  • Van Gogh set the art world on its ear.

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