Tech UPTechnologyCan robots make art?

Can robots make art?

Any manager dreams of them: they show up on time to concerts and recordings, they don’t get high or drunk, they don’t destroy hotel rooms and they don’t get paid. They are the Z-Machines , three very capable Japanese robots: keyboard player, guitarist (he handles 12 picks with his 78 fingers) and drummer (22 dizzying arms to beat the drums) who have recorded a mini album with the songs composed for them by Squarepusher, a British electronic music producer exploring whether these androids can perform “emotionally engaging” pieces.

There are other robotic bands like the Compressorheads , who give into heavy metal. The question is: when will they compose their own songs instead of just playing those of humans?

There are machines that already do it. Iamus is a computer from the University of Malaga that has composed nine pieces of contemporary classical music. It has been programmed with certain instructions – for example, that a pianist cannot play a 10-note chord with one hand, since he only has five fingers – and from then on, and with minimal initial information, it takes about 8 minutes to create a chord. composition using an algorithm .

Artificial creativity

Art seems an exclusively human activity … still. The e-David painting robot (University of Konstanz, Germany) is a computer-controlled arm that uses five types of brush strokes and 24 colors to paint pictures that no one would attribute to a computer. This artificial painter starts from a photo of the subject to be captured and calculates the movements necessary to convert an image into a drawing or painting of different styles. e-David is not aware, but he makes decisions and adjusts his movements based on what he is doing , which is already a gigantic advance.

There are more examples that indicate that perhaps we are approaching the point where machines can be properly called artists. The Painting Fool (created by Simon Colton, Professor of Computing at Imperial College London) is software that has been taught to recognize human emotions. When information is provided (news, a story …), create an image to illustrate it. The program chooses the color palette, the materials and the technique without any human intervention and paints pictures that have been successfully exhibited. Colton works on a literary version ( Writing Fool ) that writes poems on his own.

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