Can robots show artistic creativity?

There are machines or programs that help us in the process of artistic creation, musical groups that can play independently thanks to programming and even programs aimed at recognizing fakes by means of artificial intelligence. Robots are increasingly entering the art world. But what about editing the robot as an artist in its own right? Can a robot show creativity to produce its own artwork or is it doomed to remain a way for human artists to move forward in the creative process?

Is a robot just a way to make art?

Patrick Trissett imagined his robots as a continuation of his artwork. No longer able to paint himself, he turned to technology as a means of artistic expression. Then he came up with the idea of ​​creating robots capable of accurately reproducing something real. It is equipped with two cameras, an arm articulated using a tool and artificial intelligence programmed to interpret what the cameras observe in the form of a graphic. The algorithm behind this interpretation ensures that every drawing is original, unpublished and might never have been thought of if it had not been generated by artificial intelligence.

This example shows us that if the artist controls the entire programming process, the end result, after all, remains unpredictable … There is also a good chance that the viewer will not suspect that these drawings were created by a robot since they are unrelated with mass-produced designs. On the other hand, it should be noted that these bots require human intervention to start operating. They are not independent in the creative process. Who creates the work next, the artist who programs the robot or the robot who does the drawing?

Can an artist robot free itself by switching from tool to maker?

Some robots have the ability to be independent and improvise, such as Ai-Da, who can write a poem and read it on her own, or Shimon, who composes, plays and improvises her own pieces of music. How do they work?

Artificial intelligence robots are powered by Machine And deep learning, that is, they use a database from which to draw inspiration from the production of work. Then they use the opportunity provided by the algorithms. In fact, they will be able to re-incorporate existing shapes, patterns and components and then use them to create a unique artistic interpretation. In this, these robots can no longer be considered simple tools. They become creative because they use a form of creativity to produce artistic content without human intervention in the process.

However, if such creativity must always be fed through a database, isn’t that a limit compared to human artists? André Malraux declared that “Art is the shortest path from man to man.” To tell the truth, artists necessarily draw inspiration from what surrounds them to create: nature, culture, social relationships, personal experiences, etc. So we can compare this process perfectly with that of robotic artists. the only limit
It might be feeding AI systems with databases that are restricted to a culture, one part of art history (Western for example). So this asks us how the bot behaves to be able to create connections thanks to inexhaustible inspiration, as the artist does.

Can a robot really create a work of art?

It seems that artistic creativity is not limited to the process of creation. The investigation process is also important. For Laurence Devillers, “Robots understand nothing of what is going on around them. They have no personal opinion, no intuition, and no tolerance [capacité d’un objet à évoquer son utilisation pour la rendre intuitive] This means that the artist is not limited to the application of a technique or artistic style. There is also intuition, intent, and a certain artistic genius in the origin of the artwork. And robots have no such perceptions.

But if we are satisfied with the viewer’s point of view, is this assertion justified? Would a work of art produced by a robot have less meaning than a work produced by an artist? According to Francastel, “the field of art is not the absolute but the possible.” In fact, there may not be a definitive definition of the status of artwork. In any case, this is what the developments of robotics and artificial intelligence in the art world tend to call into question. The artistic creations of robots are no less passionate or inquisitive than the work of well-known human artists. They present us with a different art whose logic is inaccessible, but which nonetheless can evoke concepts and ideas, nurture reflections or simply give itself to be seen and appreciated.

Finally, robots cannot fundamentally replace the artists who will always take their place thanks to their personal reflections, discourses and interpretations of the world. The creativity of artists is not only expressed in practice, it is only the visible part. They also absorb a lot of this process to fuel their business. What is certain, however, is that robots chart a future in which works of art can coexist, regardless of whether their origin is human creativity or artificial intelligence.

Trieste Patrick, La Grande Vanité with the crow and the fox, 2018
Devilers Lawrence, From robots and men2017
frankastelle pierre, Art and technology in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, 1956, p. 12.

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