Inside the Learning Machine - CityMag

Inside the Learning Machine – CityMag

As artificial intelligence continues to creep into the art world, an Adelaide artist is blurring the lines between machine and artificial art.

Dave Court is no stranger to emerging technology.

The Adelaide artist regularly incorporates technology into his technicolor works. Previously involved in Web3, virtual reality (VR) and soundscapes, his latest exhibition saw him delve into the world of artificial intelligence (AI).

She called A learning machinethe work questions the act of creation for the latest era of artists who defy the new world of algorithms and machine learning.

Dave came up with this piece after being given access to an early build of DALL-E – an algorithm that accesses a huge pile of data to mimic and generate images. The Learning Machine, exhibited in Sydney, saw Dave feed his existing work into an algorithm which then spit out some ‘Dave Court’ style images – all slightly similar but eerily computer generated.

He then transformed these AI-generated images into images and digitally rendered reflections of those images, in the process questioning the act of creating art using AI tools and whether an algorithm is capable of creating “good” art.

Speak with City of Magthe artist says the piece was a continuation of his ongoing practice of understanding processes and tools through art.

“Whether it’s AI, VR or Blender, it’s all about understanding the process,” says Dave.

“I feel like I’m more and more drawn to the idea of ​​media as a message, and here it’s like, where does that happen? I think a big part of the conversation about these tools is, ‘Is what AI does art?’ And I find that quite boring – if you decide something is art, it is. It’s a dead question.

“But here it’s more ‘Who does it belong to?’ or ‘Who is the creator?’ Because if I put my art into an AI and it does a thing, then yes, I’ve done it. But if someone else puts my artwork into AI and creates something else, is that different?”

Dave Court holding ‘Loop Spiral 1A’. This image: Supplied

Dave’s work focuses on the myriad ethical and philosophical issues raised by the emergence of artificial intelligence as an artistic tool, and comes amid ongoing discussions about automation in industries outside of the arts.

Where technologists would have us believe that machine learning and automation will free workers from the mundanity of drudgery, repetitive work, the reality is that millions of jobs will potentially be lost as a result.

Research from the University of Oxford suggests that up to 47 percent of jobs are “at risk” from automation. As these AI tools become more common for non-artists to use, we can only wonder if there is an existential threat to those whose calling is “artist”.

According to Dave, there will always be a demand for human-made art.

“Art is based on reputation. If someone buys a painting, they often buy it because they are involved with the artist in a certain way, or [the artist’s] reputation,” he says.

“But what if you get to the stage of problem-free reproduction? Maybe then you would lose something. But then it’s like having a knockout or fake fingerprints of something? It may look the same, but it’s still a fake.”

Finally, Dave describes programs like DALL-E as “tools” – where the artist is supposed to use them. After all, these programs require human input to create something.

In this way, they can be thought of in the same vein as a camera – although the lens, light and film do all the work in ‘creating’ the image, choosing the frame, setting the aperture and focus requires human intervention. Even the choice of camera is a deliberate creative decision.

“Each of these possibilities and each of these methods of communication brings with it its own aesthetic, message or distortion of meaning,” says Dave.

“[AI] it is just another tool, another process that certainly adds something of its own to the work. You can use it good or bad, you can use it in creative ways or you can use it in boring ways.”

Aside from questions about whether AI will spell the end of human artistry, Dave says he’s more concerned about these kinds of tools being used for nefarious purposes.

When Dave considered his introduction to the program, led by the creators of DALL-E, he says they were given limits: no NFTs, no sales could be from generated images; they must have been transformed into something else (such as a print or image); and to keep it PG – no gore or violence.

“Artificial intelligence can’t tell the difference between a naked adult body and a naked child,” says Dave.

“The things people are going to use these tools for can be pretty weird. The DALL-E in particular has a lot of restrictions on it because it’s owned by a big company, but I think the model has already been leaked and you can get it without filters.

“If these people develop this technology and it can be used for good or evil, the fact is that it’s digital – once it’s leaked, it’s leaked, there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Dave acknowledges that the use of artificial intelligence by humans is still in its infancy. He compares it to showing an app like TikTok to someone from the 1980s who understands that the internet is only about sending digital letters.

“The first application of AI is just accelerating the things we’re already doing—whether it’s generating ideas or mockups of images, or people using it to create mood boards for a photo shoot or a music video, and designers using it to create through ideas, ” says Dave.

“I think my general idea of ​​this, and even of NFT, is the selling idea that it’s making art accessible and democratizing everything, but I think that feels like an empty promise.

“It’s still a technology owned by huge companies that profit from it, and the tools will be most easily used and controlled and monopolized by people who already have money and power.”

#Learning #Machine #CityMag

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *