Well, well, well, it’s a massive few months for data what with GDPR and a certain tech giant’s struggle with keeping data ‘safe’. Usually, in these situations I would deflect all responsibility but I fear when it comes to data, the blame - unlike beauty - usually lies with the holder. Beauty, on the other hand, does indeed lay with the beholder and as AI progresses into to the world of Art, it would do well to remember this.
What does this mean?
Let’s start with the basics. What are neural networks? Neural networks are a computational approach to solving problems that is mimicking the natural neural processes of the human brain. Pretty cool, right?
Try teaching a child to recognise a bus. You show her examples, telling her, “This is a bus. That is not a bus,” until the child learns the concept of what a bus is. If they see new objects that they haven’t seen before, we could expect them to recognise correctly whether the new object is a bus or not.
This is exactly the idea behind a simple neural network.
But, don’t be fooled. The ideas and concepts behind the snazzier ARTificial neural networks are much more complex. Feel free to look into generative adversarial networks if you’re feeling brave.
Will this destroy the human race?
We can create robots that pirouette but will robots then go and want to watch this pirouette in a hall in complete silence.
This is the crux of the argument. AI does not want to do anything; it does as we model it to.
AI is only another tool for artists to use to create. It is an avenue of exploration that artists have not been privy to previously. It’s something to be excited by. This is the artistic version of Columbus finding America.
Columbus’s discovery of America did lead to the systemic destruction of a native group of people and of course we must ensure that whatever advancements we make within AI is done ethically. If we get this right, we could be in for a new age of Artistic appreciation and that is something to be excited about.