Can artificial intelligence create art? In recent years, we’ve seen plenty of attempts to answer this question, from portrait-painting robots to Aaron, a computer program that makes neon abstractions. Now, Google is launching Magenta, an effort to generate original music, video, images, and text using machine intelligence. Part of Google Brain, the company’s deep learning research project, Magenta will explore whether artificial intelligence can create art.
“There’s a couple of things that got me wanting to form Magenta, and one of them was seeing the completely, frankly, astonishing improvements in the state of the art. And I wanted to demystify this a little bit,” Google researcher Douglas Eck said during a panel at MoogFest, a technology and music festival. He was inspired in part by Deep Dream, Google’s computer vision program that turns digital images into psychedelic nightmares.
“The question Magenta asks is, ‘Can machines make music and art? If so, how? If not, why not?’ The goal of Magenta is to produce open-source tools and models that help creative people be even more creative,” Eck wrote in a blog post. “I’m primarily looking at how to use so-called ‘generative’ machine learning models to create engaging media.” Today, the researchers published the first of their results on TensorFlow, Google’s open-source artificial intelligence platform. The first stage of the program helps researchers import music data from MIDI music files into TensorFlow, which will, they hope, imbue their systems with new musical knowledge. After experimenting with music, researchers will move on to images and video.
The definition of “art,” of course, is always up for debate, for better or worse. Whatever Magenta ultimately creates, it will no doubt reignite this age-old conversation. Eck says his goal with Magenta is to give listeners “musical chills” with an AI-composed piece (since, you know, human musicians aren’t struggling enough as is). But even if Magenta succeeds in producing a robot Beethoven, can an algorithm be considered an “artist” if it was designed and enacted by a human? Until computers are creatively independent and display artistic intent, they’ll likely be considered just another new tool for human art-making practices, not artists in their own right. Despite Google Deep Dream’s masterpieces, computational creativity hasn’t come close to producing its Sistine Chapel. Eck admitted at MoogFest that algorithms are still “very far from [understanding] long narrative arcs.” Maybe future generations of artists will be competing with bionic men for gallery shows, but don’t panic about the robot art world takeover just yet.
In his new works, Gober pulled me into another world, one that was both illuminated by natural light and full of cold shadows.
What’s difficult, perhaps impossible, to show in art is the experience of what passes beyond all comprehension.
Curator, educator, and transdisciplinary artist Jova Lynne is coming from MOCAD to lead Temple Contemporary exhibitions and public programs.
Testament at Goldsmiths College asks: Can any monument be removed of its tarnish?
Hiding in plain sight, the box obscures a vast legacy of inequality without undoing it. It removes the most visible source of conflict without addressing the root causes.
Featuring underwater recordings from around the world, this immersive, site-specific installation is on view at the Lenfest Center for the Arts in NYC from February 3 to 13.
Unveiled as a part of the Prospect.5 triennial, the bronze is one of five new works that suggest new approaches to public statuary.
X-ray imaging revealed the hidden wounds on Yves Tanguy’s 1930 masterpiece, which was slashed violently during an attack on a Paris arthouse theater.
BRIC’s multidisciplinary program in Brooklyn has cohorts in Contemporary Art, Film & TV, Performing Arts, and Video Art. Applications are due March 10.
Their portraits will be included along with those of Venus and Serena Williams, José Andrés, Clive Davis, and Marian Wright Edelman.
Since 2017, the Gordon Parks Foundation has awarded annual fellowships to 10 artists in a range of disciplines.
To understand contemporary art, it is necessary to investigate the connections that are sometimes omitted or undervalued in art history.