Artificial Intelligence Is Changing the Way We Experience Art and It's Spectacular

Artists are using AI to create new forms of art while museums are utilizing the emerging technology to create interactive experiences.
Donovan Alexander

Everyone is talking about Artificial Intelligence. AI seems to be one of the most exciting and most polarizing emerging technologies to make its way into our lives. As you are probably already well aware, AI has the potential to change multiple industries from entertainment to the growing world of autonomous vehicles. According to Gartner Research, by 2021, 80% of emerging technologies will have AI foundations. That is just the beginning. The wearable artificial intelligence market will reach $180 billion by 2025. While 40% of executives believe artificial intelligence’s most important benefit is providing data that can be used to make decisions.

As mentioned by Andrew Ng, “I think the world will just be better if AI is helping us. It will reduce the cost of goods, giving us a good education, changing the way we run hospitals and the health-care system - there's just a long list of things.” Companies are excited to see the increased efficiencies and advanced analytics-driven by the adaptation of AI technologies. However, one area that seems to get left out of the conversation when discussing AI, is art. 

Just like in the industries mentioned previously, artificial intelligence is changing the art world both for the artists and the fans. However, before we jump into the exciting new world of AI art, let’s do a quick refresher on the basics of the world of AI, machine learning, and deep learning. Understanding the foundations of these topics will help you better grasp the coming AI art revolution.

A Quick Refresher 

Now, when discussing artificial intelligence, the terms machine learning and deep learning are almost always mentioned in tandem. When defining artificial intelligence it refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think just like us and that are used to mimic our actions. What this means is that AI applies to any “machine” that exhibits traits associated with a human mind such as learning and problem-solving.

There are three levels or types of AI dubbed artificial narrow intelligence - machines that have a general range of abilities, - artificial general intelligence - machines are on par with human capabilities, and artificial superintelligence- machines that are more capable than humans. We are still nowhere near general AI. The technology that you use daily such as image classification, your Netflix recommendations, and the facial recognition on your phone utilizes narrow AI. 


Yet, where is machine learning in all of this? If artificial intelligence centers around machines making human-like decisions then the learning process used to make an intelligent decision is called machine learning. Think of it as raising a small child. You spend thousands of hours teaching the child what to do and what not to do with the aims of the child making an educated decision. Machine learning utilizes algorithms to parse thousands or even millions of data points, learning from it and using that newly acquired knowledge to make a decision or even a prediction.  

While finally, deep learning is the technique used to implement machine learning. The relationships between these three terms have laid the foundation for the massive changes in the art world, changes that we are dramatically excited about.  

AI Art is becoming more common in galleries

Artificial Intelligence Is Changing the Way We Experience Art and It's Spectacular
Source: Obvious Art

Now there are two main areas of focus when discussing the world of AI art; how we create art and how we experience art. Let’s focus on the former. The power of machine learning has given rise to a new breed of artists, creatives that rely on algorithms to produce creative pieces. However, the use of AI in the creative world is hotly debated as “a few lines of code” can be used to create stunning pieces of art. While others simply view AI as just another tool that will augment an artist’s abilities. We will let you decide as there are plenty of AI artists emerging each year offering stunning and original final pieces. Galleries are definitely taking notice.    

Obvious is one of the teams of AI artists shaking up the art world. Using a class of machine learning called a generative adversarial network, the talented team created a host of paintings that is unique enough to feel completely new but is familiar enough that the paintings look like they belong in a well-established auction house. Their team even had one of their pieces sell for as much as $432,000. For the uninitiated, GAN, or generative adversarial networks use machine learning algorithms to generate images. The process usually involves training “a machine” by showing it thousands of images, or pieces of art in this case to create a unique piece of work. 

GANs are the go-to tool for many AI artists. Other leading AI artists like Tom White, tailor their generative adversarial networks to fit their own unique creative voice. That is one of the greatest appeals to AI art. Using the power of machine learning, artists can create almost anything they can imagine using existing mediums. New forms of conceptual art, “classic art”, abstract art, and even pop art will start making their way into galleries. Even more so, the growing demand for AI art will attract a host of new collectors with deep pockets. By following major auction houses like Sotheby’s, you can see that AI art piece prices are slowly growing. 

Within the gallery world, art takes many different forms, appearing in many different mediums. The creation of these forms of art is also being augmented using artificial intelligence. The agency Space150 has recently demonstrated that AI can create a full musical track, complete with lyrics, voice, and even a beat. AI art has even opened the doors to new methods of generating written forms as art, with one AI system generating a full novel

Artificial intelligence has opened the doors to new artistic experiences

Aside from the more traditional forms of art, AI art has helped usher in an entirely new form of art. Art that centers around experiences rather than just a singular piece of art. Leading creative collectives like teamLabs have worked hard to merge technology and art to design tremendous experiences for the public, catching the world’s attention and winning countless awards. Their installations utilize AI to make exhibits a lot more interactive for attendees creating graphics that respond to a person's movement or touch.  

In the exhibit, What a Loving, and Beautiful World, the team describes how AI is used to enhance their exhibit stating, “The elements that are born from the characters are placed at various positions within the space, and the physical influences and connections between them produce a single world. For example, when the wind blows, flowers and snow physically fly away. Birds alight in trees, and butterflies are attracted to flowers. Just as in nature, what you see at this moment can never be seen again.”

Across the globe, more artists, designers, and even companies are utilizing AI to create immersive experiences. There is a good chance at some point, you will see one of the interactive AI experiences appear in one of your local galleries if they are not already there. 

Everyone is going to become better artists 

As mentioned above, one of the more controversial aspects of AI art centers around the creation of art itself. The creation of art can be daunting and a bit intimidating for a lot of people. Things like Nvidia’s prototype smart paintbrush software is using generative adversarial networks to help elevate your drawing skills, taking your rough doodles and sketches and turning them into stunning portraits. There could come a time in the near future, where people can create artistic masterpieces with a few lines of code, causing us to redefine creativity and art itself.   

You can create AI art at home


If you have been inspired by the coming age of AI art, there are a lot of great free tools out there that will help you create your own AI art pieces. Be sure to stop by here and use one of these tools to create your own AI art. Have you created AI art before?

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