16:15 - 17:15
AI Art: Machine Visions and Warped Dreams


Can computers be creative? Is AI art just a form of Candy Crush? Looking at different examples of AI-driven art, this talk will aim to cut through the smoke and mirrors surrounding the current narratives of computation, robotics and Artificial Intelligence. It will also offer a critique of the political underpinnings of AI and its dominant aesthetics. Finally, it will raise broader questions concerning the conditions of art-making, creativity and invention today.


My talk will explore conceptual and creative edges of artificial intelligence (AI). Cutting through the smoke and mirrors that currently envelop the narratives of computation and AI, I will discuss broader issues concerning the conditions of art-making, creativity and invention today. I will open my talk with the oft-posed question: ‘Can computers be creative?’, while also demonstrating why this may not be the best question to ask about computation, robotics and AI. Along the way, many alternative questions will be formulated, in an attempt to challenge the binary framing of the current thinking on computation and automation. Yet questioning will not be the only thing I’ll do. My talk will also involve a critique, but this should not be treated as a technophobic rejection of AI technology. Instead of pitching the human against the machine, I will approach different forms of human activity, including art, as having always been technical, and thus also, to some extent, artificially intelligent. My critique will be primarily concerned with the political underpinnings of AI, and its accompanying rhetoric and aesthetics. To close off, I will turn to the problem of machine vision in AI research and art, which will lead us to interrogate different ways of seeing, (in)visibility and perception, across various platforms and scales. Artist Hito Steyerl’s questions: ‘Which faces appear on which screens, and why? … Who is “signal,” and who disposable “noise”?’ will guide us in this enquiry.