In today’s ever-changing digital universe, robots are expanding their reach through creative pursuits like computer-aided performance arts, kinetic sculptures and automated installations. More advanced robots are even using deep learning, artificial intelligence, generative algorithms and computational creativity to make significant aesthetic decisions.
Some of these robots are becoming sophisticated enough to paint impressive-looking works. Cornell University researchers compared the response of human subjects to the AI-generated art. The results showed that people could not distinguish between the art created by the algorithm and art generated by contemporary artists.
Similarly, Kasetsart University is leveraging haptic recording system to develop an engineer art creation called ‘Full Bloom of Sakura’. The collaborative robot system records volumes of digital data about the position and force from the artists. It can learn skills of artists such as tapping method, blending method, stabbing method, scrubbing method, sliding brushstroke and line brushstroke. The robot was able to mimic the learned motions and the team could edit the software to improve the robot’s movements and performance.
On the other hand, a robot called CloudPainter dips paint brushes on the end of its mechanical arm into a cup of paint. It spins around and adds a final dab of colour onto a canvas. French art collective Obvious is developing AI-generated art through Generative Adversarial Networks (GAN).
Even Big tech companies like Google and Facebook have come up with their own photo algorithm to tackle the last AI frontier, creative arts. Google’s DeepDream is a machine-learning algorithm using a convolutional neural network to enhance pictures and detect faces, patterns and shapes. It’s the same algorithm that allows Google or Apple to identify photos by their content in our phones.
Though critics argue that robots lack human experiences, imagination and emotions, which are necessary to give art meaning and value, many artists think robots can serve as a useful tool—like a paintbrush—to help them make better art. However, with fast-paced developments in technology, these robots are beyond being simple assistants, becoming creative collaborators for the art universe.