Generative art made with algorithms has existed since the early days of computing in the 1960s. In recent years, a new strand of generative art has emerged: AI-generated art, which leverages the recent progress of artificial intelligence to create artworks. Unlike old-fashioned generative art, AI-generated art is not produced with an explicit set of programming instructions provided by human artists; instead, it involves training an algorithm on a dataset so that it can later produce artworks (images, music, or video clips) using its own internal parameters that have not been explicitly defined by a human. This process raises fascinating questions at the intersection of computer science, art history, and the philosophy of art. At a superficial level of analysis, AI-generated art seems to offload much of the creative impetus of art production to the machine, requiring minimal intervention from the artist. On closer inspection, however, it involves a novel process of curation at two key stages: upstream in the selection of the dataset on which the algorithm is trained, and downstream in the selection of the outputs that should qualify as artworks. Instead of replacing human artists with computers, AI-generated art can be understood as a new kind of collaboration between mind and machine, both of which contribute to the aesthetic value of the final artwork.
This seminar will bring together AI artists and philosophers to explore the significance of this new mode of art production. We will discuss the implications of AI-generated art for the definition of art, the nature of the relationship between artists and tools, the process of digital curation, and whether AI systems can be as creative as humans.
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