AI Art: Proof that artificial intelligence is creative or not?

Cosmos Magazine


Cosmos is a quarterly science magazine. We aim to inspire curiosity in ‘The Science of Everything’ and make the world of science accessible to everyone.

By Cosmos

AI art tools like Craiyon (formerly DALL-E mini) and Midjourney have been making waves on the internet over recent months. But are these artificial intelligence tools exhibiting creativity, or just clever mimics? How will AI art impact artists themselves? And how can machine learning be effectively used in artistic, creative and design endeavours most effectively?

Cosmos science journalist Evrim Yazgin tackles these questions and speaks with AI expert Professor Jon McCormack, Director of Monash University’s SensiLab, in the article “Creativity and AI” in Cosmos Magazine #96.

At this year’s Colorado State Fair’s annual art competition awarded its prize to an AI-generated piece entitled “Théâtre D’opéra Spatial” by Jason M. Allen. But Allen didn’t paint or sculpt the work – it was generated by AI art tool Midjourney.

While Allen was open about the piece’s origins, submitting it under the name “Jason M. Allen via Midjourney,” that the prize was awarded to a piece created by a machine learning tool has enraged some artists.

Impressive and controversial as tools like Midjourney are, they represent only the tip of the AI art iceberg.

Read more: Realistic androids coming closer, as scientists teach a robot to share your laughter

AI expert Professor Jon McCormack, Director of Monash University’s SensiLab says AI should not be thought of as “intelligent,” “creative” or “artistic.” “These systems are kind of statistical mirrors on broad aspects of human culture,” McCormack explains.

McCormack stresses that AI is best used as an aid to human creativity.

In Cosmos Magazine #96 McCormack shows Evrim Yazgin around SensiLab, where AI researchers are creating design and art pieces. Of note are a mirror which writes a poem based on the onlooker’s expression, a machine which can learn from human drummers how to make a beat, and a tapestry drawing on the stories of female convicts in Australia.

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