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Can you pass a Turing test? AI, Creativity and the Arts

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Dr. Lev Manovich | manovich.net | manovich.lev@gmail.com


Professor, PhD Program in Computer Science, Graduate Center,


...

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1 | why we are obsessed with creativity?


2 | why we think that art is biggest challenge for AI?


3 | modern concepts of...

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1 | why we are obsessed with creativity?


New economic and social paradigm, articulated in 2000-2002:


“you have to be c...

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Can you pass a Turing test? AI, Creativity and the Arts

  1. 1. Dr. Lev Manovich | manovich.net | manovich.lev@gmail.com Professor, PhD Program in Computer Science, Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY) Director, Cultural Analytics Lab | lab.culturalanalytics.info Can You Pass a Turing Test? 
 AI, Creativity and Digital Media 

  2. 2. 1 | why we are obsessed with creativity? 2 | why we think that art is biggest challenge for AI? 3 | modern concepts of art, artist, creativity 4 | why it is so easy for AI to simulate modern art? 5 | art has always being”algorithmic” 6 | AI can already create art not possible for humans 7 | does AI leads us back to classical aesthetics? 8 | Turing test for art was passed long time ago 9 | I propose a new “Molner test” for artistic AI
  3. 3. 1 | why we are obsessed with creativity? 
 New economic and social paradigm, articulated in 2000-2002: 
 “you have to be creative” / new very competitive global markets / it is now assumed that companies have to innovate to be successful / the values of modern avant-garde art - creativity, innovation, experimentation - became key business values in 2000s
  4. 4. 2 | Is “making art” relevant to AI progress? 
 
 / why we think that “art” is the most creative human domain? / why not science, engineering, vernacular design, everyday fashion, cooking, etc.? 
 / and that art most difficult domain to formalize and quantify? 
 / and therefore art generation is the best test for AI progress? 

  5. 5. Ad for Gentle Monster (Korea) Photos by Dmitry Markov (Russia) Can AI create such works without having the equivalent of full human knowledge? Without having a body? Can it generate complex semantics and the right interaction of many references? Can it reliably output perfect works, without having a human to select successful ones?
  6. 6. 2 | Is “making art” relevant to AI progress? 
 
 Humans are most creative in domains that are narrow and have constraints. Such fields have goals, means of evaluation and many people 
 exploring the same specific challenges. Historically, what we call today “arts” (and what was actually “crafts”) 
 were such domains. 

  7. 7. 2 | Is “making art” relevant to AI progress? 
 
 At a certain point in modern art development, the domain of “fine arts” changed. It became completely open, with no constraints, no goals, and no evaluation 
 mechanisms. 
 In my view: today the visual art is much less creative than science, engineering, food design, lots of other fields which have goals and more objective evaluation 
 mechanisms. Contemporary art is not an interesting challenge for AI. 

  8. 8. 2 | Is “making art” relevant to AI progress? 
 Historically, all human culture was about repeating what already exists. Very few works or people were “original” in the modern sense. Most original creators worked on small incremental improvements. 20th century theorists suggested that human artworks consist from citations from other works (Roland Barthes), or follow existing templates for seeing and 
 representation (Ernst Gombrich).
  9. 9. 2 | Is “making art” relevant to AI progress? 
 Today endless cultural works, their evaluations, online tutorials, presets, likes and many other culture metadata is available online to everybody. This may make many culture areas progressively less original. People want to follow successful models and use existing recipes. In high art, these templates and models are not explicit, but this does not make them less important.
  10. 10. 3 | modern concepts of art and artist 
 
 Romantic art movement in Europe 
 (end of the 18th - first part of the 19th century) 
 / a new concept of the arts / reaction to scientific progress and beginnings of industrial revolution / focus on originality, imagination, spontaneity, emotions, creation rather than imitation (mimesis), genius, artist’s unique vision, expression free of rules 

  11. 11. 3 | modern concepts of art and artist 
 
 Modern idea of an “artist” - 
 / Ancient Greece: "techně" - mastery, skill - leading to modern words “technique” 
 and “technical” - no concept of “artist” / Middle Ages - craftsperson; skilled crafts valued more than painting or sculptures / Italian Renaissance - Leon Battista Alberti (1404–1472): distinguishes between technical skills and intellectual capacities - this later leads to separation between 
 fine and applied arts 

  12. 12. We have been asking why synthetic art images generated by AI can fool general public but not experts? Instead we should ask: why it is so easy to generate art images in particular styles that look so much as the originals? What does this tells us about human art? Are we less original than we think?
  13. 13. 4 | art has always being algorithmic / generative 
 / it is very difficult for humans to do anything without repeating same templates, schemes, patterns / systematicity of all human behavior, including art making 
 

  14. 14. 5 | Why it is particularly easy to simulate modern art? 
 
 / in modern art, visual and semantic parameters can have a big range of values / many or all parameters can vary independently - they are not correlated / in modern art, exact details often do not matter / in earlier art and in realistic art, parameters can vary less and they are correlated, and tiny details may be very important - so its harder to simulate / the same applies to current AI work in architecture, design, cinema, music, etc.
  15. 15. 6 | AI can already create non-human art 
 / a neural network trained on lots of works of dozens of artist can generate plausible art images in many styles / the following examples are from the same StyleGAN2-Ada 

  16. 16. 7 | AI and new classical aesthetic 
 / Rapid development of AI tools for tens of millions of culture professionals and billions of casual creators / goals: ideal, beauty, perfection / similar to classical Western aesthetics 

  17. 17. Are we moving towards a society with a classical aesthetics, where only idealized representations will exist? The period of raw realism in art, photography and cinema (19th-20th century) is maybe over
  18. 18. Ad for
  19. 19. Different explanation: What we see as extreme “asthetization” of visual representation (effects of Photoshop, photo and video editing apps, AI) is in fact extension of “aesthetics of the everyday life” paradigm to media culture.
  20. 20. From Aesthetics of Everyday Life: East and West (2014): Chinese, Japanese and Korean traditional aesthetics offer a “prototype” of living aesthetics… Chinese aesthetics is, at the outset, oriented towards everyday life, a most profound difference from European classical aesthetics… Whereas aesthetics in the West tends to focus on the extraordinary, Eastern aesthetics already understands that the aesthetic may populate both the extraordinary and the ordinary forms of experience.
  21. 21. 
 In all human cultures until recently the goal was repetition (doing same things as the previous generation) or getting close to ideal - it was never “innovation” or “creation” -and humans made most amazing art and culture, without having this idea “creativity” Innovation in human culture of course happened many times - but without having it as an explicit goal!
  22. 22. 8 | Turing test for artistic AI was already passed in 1966. It is too easy. 
 


  23. 23. 9 | Molner test for artistic AI I named it after Vera Molner (1924 - ) 
 

 9 | Molner test for artistic AI Vera Molner (1924 - ) 
 


  24. 24. 9 | Molner test for artistic AI I named it after Vera Molner (1924 - ) 
 

 9 | Molner test for artistic AI I named it after Vera Molner (1924 - ) 
 

 9 | Molner test for artistic AI I named it after Vera Molner (1924 - ) 
 

 9 | Molner test for artistic AI I named it after Vera Molner (1924 - ) 
 


  25. 25. 9 | Molner test for artistic AI I named it after Vera Molner (1924 - ) 
 

 9 | Molner test for artistic AI I named it after Vera Molner (1924 - ) 
 

 9 | Molner test for artistic AI I named it after Vera Molner (1924 - ) 
 

 9 | Molner test for artistic AI I named it after Vera Molner (1924 - ) 
 


  26. 26. Thank you
  27. 27. Current situation: If AI creates something that is very similar to human artistic works in the past, we say that its not creative If AI will create truly original art, we will not recognize it as art

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