Can Computers Also Create Art?


Opinions differ on the question “What is art?” but the real question is whether art has to come from humans at all.

Computers are taking on more and more tasks. They manage industrial plants and are indispensable in most industries. First of all, you can think of what you want, but that makes many people worry about their job, but is, unfortunately, a fact. But at least one group of people expected to be irreplaceable by the machine are the creative people and artists. But are they really irreplaceable now that AI (artificial intelligence) can also create art as it seems?

Do creativity and machine intelligence go together?

The New Jersey researchers placed test subjects in front of various images. For three groups, the scientists put together paintings: the computer-created, works by great artists, and contemporary art paintings. The test subjects, laypersons, should say whether an image was created by a human or a computer. The computer did well: 75 percent of the pictures were attributed to a human. The test subjects made an even better decision for the large works of abstract art – the assessments were 85 percent correct. The uncertainty in contemporary art, on the other hand, was great: In almost half of all pictures, the test subjects decided that it had to be a painting from a computer. In the latter, the difference is amazingly similar, or hardly distinguishable.

What is art?

It is in the eye of the beholder whether a work of art has an artistic intention, is inspiring, and has a structure. The test subjects agreed to these factors in computer paintings.

“This shows that the test subjects view the images generated by the machine as art,” says Ahmed Elgammal.

Ahmed Elgammal is the responsible, director of the Art & Artificial Intelligence Lab at Rutgers University. He also explains how the machine works, the “art robot” consists of two artificial intelligences.

  • The first has access to a database of works of art and the knowledge of which era or style a picture corresponds to.
  • The second is independent, it generates completely random pictures.

These are checked by the first and if the latter does not recognize any parallels or is not satisfied, the second has to work again, so he feels his way slowly and improves with every attempt.

What consequences this could have for the art world?

We are certain that computers and artificial intelligence as well as “brushes” are not only advocates. The whole thing is still too young to be able to evaluate it correctly or to notice a change in the art market. However, if works by computers should be popular, artists and creative people could suffer. It is no secret that the artist often has financial problems today. For example, we recently reported that almost every 10th artist in Berlin can live from his art. Here to the contribution:

We are in favor of research and development, but once again call for not neglecting art, buying art and promoting it because art is more than just the finished work. Art is also the process of creation and it is also art that the person behind it expresses or can express his emotions. Art is also communication. And the promotion of communication between humans and humans instead of humans and machines should always be in the foreground.

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