Artificial Intelligence and Art
We’re on the edge of a new frontier in computation, creativity and aesthetics — and it’s not human. Blaise Agüera y Arcas, Google’s head of science and machine intelligence, works with deep neural networks for machine perception and distributed learning. The attempt to understand consciousness, the inner-workings of the brain and the neuro-mechanics of thought is the ultimate imperative in empirical and computational research, and stems from the ancient Greek aphorism, “know thyself.” In this captivating spiel, he shows how neural nets trained to recognize images can be inverted, flipped around, mutated and morphed to generate them. The results: spectacular, hallucinatory collages, trippy fractals, poetry in motion, stream of consciousness, connectionism, automatic art and synthetic thought that will blow you away. “Perception and creativity are very intimately connected,” Agüera y Arcas says. “Any creature, any being that is able to do perceptual acts is also able to create.” Yes, computer programs can now contend with world-class chess players—to a point—and algorithms can generate original works of art and cooler than now aesthetics. After many false dawns, AI has made extraordinary progress in the past few years, thanks to advances in distributed learning and synthetic logic. Check out this eye-opening, brain-bending demo at TED.