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I like how Christie's frames this discussion in their headline, https://www.christies.com/features/A-collaboration-between-two-artists-one-human-one-a-machine-9332-1.aspx that AI is a medium, not the actual artist. But, of course, this is not how the AI world sees this, nor other AI creative endeavors such as in these articles: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/these-abstract-portraits-were-painted-by-an-artificial-intelligence-program-180947590/ https://arxiv.org/abs/1706.07068 https://futurism.com/a-new-ai-can-write-music-as-well-as-a-human-composer/ http://web.mit.edu/allanmc/www/benjamin.pdf https://www.newscientist.com/article/2139184-artificially-intelligent-painters-invent-new-styles-of-art/ https://sputniknews.com/science/201711211059311031-artificial-intelligence-spots-forged-paintings/ As I've regularly written, if there is ever an AI that burns out and commits suicide at 27, that's when I'll believe AI is creative. https://natureofthebeat.svbtle.com/ai-commits-suicide-at-27-years-old-news-at-11 Some of the arguments I have made about humanity and art vs algorithms does make me reflect on how different we are from AI. I like to think artists have a passion that an AI cannot replicate. But as many artists have said about this drive, how can they do anything else? Isn't that the same thing, though as the AI, how can it do anything else? If art is part of our human nature as created by a Creator, is this not the same or similar thing as an AI? I did read an article that I think posed the right question (I can't find that link) can an AI that is not directed to create choose to create? I think this also poses other questions. If art if quantifiable, that there truly are objective standards that are discernible and objective, what is left but to push out the humanity in art? Even GO, which assumes a required human intuitive, creative nature has been conquered by AI. GO still is built on a set of rules and a definable outcome that can be programmed. Is art the same? This is where I usually diverge from those who think art has to be objective and require a set of standards. If that is true, why do we need humans? What do humans bring to art that cannot be replicated by an AI? https://natureofthebeat.svbtle.com/for-the-humanity-in-art I'm really not posting my blog articles to drive traffic, just as starting points for conversation. There is a lot to love about Svbtle.com, but they do not have a commenting system where a conversation can occur. Besides, I think I posed the questions here so it doesn't really require going out to my blog. Just some thoughts in hopes to generate a conversation. Joe
I am well aware this is a topic touched upon quite frequently, and for that I apologize, but I feel as though I must expand the pool of opinion. I have had this stewing for a while, as a disclaimer. Essentially it boils down to my sneaking suspicions that criticism of most forms of media is being occupied (for lack of a better word) by this invasive attitude of faux objectivity. I think it was most evident to me roughly a week ago while discussing a film with a friend, when partway through an individual bluntly inserted himself into the conversation, plighting about how much he hated the item in question, how badly certain decisions affected the quality of the film, and many other diatribes about the composition and characters etc., etc. I was not angry that he was trashing the film (that my friend and I both enjoyed), I try not to engage in clearly fruitless arguments as a general practice, so I instead asked him why he thought (x) character was badly written. He thought for a moment and reverted to a lengthy response that essentially said: "Because it is bad." Not "Because I didn't like it" or "Because it was actively detrimental to the story being told", but "Because it is bad". The more I mull it over, the more I become discouraged. I realize I've been hearing that phrase for years, disguised by flowery language and aggregate reviews, and it now frustrates me to no end when someone touts their views like a flag on the moon. Has this attitude of mob criticism and treating opinion as fact been around longer than I realize? Isn't art supposed to be subjective, or am I just an idiot? This issue probably has a lot of grey area and I absolutely cannot say that I'm an expert, but I am very willing to be swayed. Just tired of negative, scolding criticism in general, I suppose.
This article: Do Christians Have Poor Cultural Taste? is interesting. It says nothing new for those who have asked these kinds of questions before. I often think that to merely ask the question is to be on the right path. Here's a thought/question: Suppose a Christian has bad taste in art. What does that mean in terms of his/her soul? Is this fact a pointer (or could it be a pointer) to something more fundamental? Another thought/question: The article argues against a utilitarian approach to art. Though not well defined (it's a short article), the idea is that using art is not the same as receiving art, and that the former leads to bad taste and the latter to good taste. And then the author goes on to say that good tasted leads to less priggishness, and by implication, a better Christian and a better witness to the world. The potential problem I see with this (though I basically agree) is that it says to avoid a utilitarian approach to art so that one can then become a better witness, a better person, etc. It replaces one use with another. Perhaps a more interesting approach is to say that there are three transcendentals: Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. That these are eternal, and that to focus on only one or two is to lose sight, in some fundamental way, of who God is and what being made in the image of God is all about. Thus, saying that some Christians, while being champions for "Truth" but having poor cultural (read aesthetic) taste, is to say that they don't care about who God is as much as they claim (as much as their emotions and cherished self-images claim). This is not to harbor any degree of determining the hearts of any individual, for we can't and shouldn't try, but I think the overall question is valid. What are your thoughts?