Robots Will Take Our Jobs, But Will Robots Take Our Art?

What Is Art?

The oxford dictionary description of art is:

“The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power”.

From that description of what art is, it can be defined as a creation from a human being inspired through imagination and expression using skills learnt through practice over time infusing the art with soul and most importantly a rich background story.

But can art created using robots give off the same emotion and feeling as a great masterpiece would?

Can Art Be Automated?

Robots, at this moment, in time can take simple repetitive tasks and repeat them over and over with high efficiency.

Therefore, jobs like accounts payable, telesales, and sales-administrator will be automated over social workers, nurses and office manager.

These jobs require a certain amount social intelligence and managerial skills, their jobs and scenarios are ever changing requiring the need for people to adapt and think on their feet.

Art itself is an ever-evolving medium inspired by emotions, culture, and human experience but some artistic methods like painting, writing, and music are small simple repetitive techniques repeated together to make a bigger picture, book, and sound.

Robot Art

Art isn’t just for humans anymore; many robots have now created their own pieces.

A robot who goes by the name of Edavid was created in Germany by the university of Konstanz.

It was created from a welding robot that you would normally find on a factory floor, and was modified and adapted with a camera, sensor and a control computer.

Edavid is shown an image and recreates it, programmed to make little brush strokes and using the camera it reviews it’s work and makes changes if some need to be made.

The robot can recreate many styles using just 5 brushes and 24 different colours to choose from.

Robots aren’t just taking over the painting world, a short story written by AI and humans made it past the first round of submissions in a short story contest.

The short story titled “The day a computer writes a novel” was entered in to the Hoshi Shinichi literacy awards which accepts stories from both humans and machines.

One of the judges, a notable science fiction writer Santoshi, has commented on how well the story was structured, although there were some problems such as character development.

The AI didn’t write the short story from scratch, the creators of the AI wrote their own short story making sure to include the basic structure and set components like words and sentences.

The AI then set out to create its own story using an algorithm to break apart the original story and create its own.

Robots Are Now Coming For Music Too

The robot goes by the name of Shimon. Shimon is a four-armed robot who plays a Marimba. It was created by Gil Weinberg, director of Georgia Tech’s Centre for Music Technology.

Originally Shimon was only able to play along with it’s human like performers, it was able play along with the performers simply copying the music.

Now, using deep learning, Shimon has studied a data base with over 5000 songs, some of the song include Lady Gaga, Beethoven, the Beatles and even Miles Davis, As well as the 5000 songs it also had around 2 million musical riffs and motifs to learn from.

Shimon requires only four bars from a user to create a composition, once the four bars are provided, Shimon then composes its own piece allowing it to create cords and harmonies but It’s is said to be still light years away from sounding human.

Is Robot Art Even Art?

My colleagues and I had some pretty heated conversations when discussing this subject, especially as one of them studied music at University.

A couple of questions that we kept coming back to were; is art about the human experience and learning? And, does art have to have a meaning to be art?

If it doesn’t have to have a meaning, then can a clock be art simply through design and structure?

Can Robot Art Convey The Same Emotion As Human Art?

Out of all the people I discussed it with I was the only person who really felt that a robot could create art, most people believed that art is created from human experience through learning and discovery.

That art must have a meaning even if the meaning meant there was no meaning at all.

They then asked if it was even the robots creating as they robot was built by humans as the robots are told to create rather be inspired to create.

For some people robots are still far off from being anything but tools.

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Post by James Donaldson

James has been with ITESOFT since late 2016. Quickly establishing himself as a genuine automation enthusiast, he is a reliable source for the latest information on Financial Process Automation technologies.

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