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Artificial intelligence really close to replacing artists?

Among the sticking points about reviving American manufacturing’s heyday, when millions of men flooded into factories every morning, is that their jobs have been replaced by robots. And soon, artifical intelligence may have a go at more than just mundane work. Last summer, a European “neural network” studied the paintings of Van Gogh, Munch, and other artists, then created their own paintings in the artists’ style—flawlessly. Last month, a computer program called DeepBach created chorales that 40 percent of musicians in a test group misidentified as J.S. Bach’s own work.

So is anything preventing artificial intelligence from making inroads in the art world? Yes. We are.

So far, AI has only been getting better at learning, not inventing. A machine can learn Van Gogh’s techniques, and practice them, but only because Van Gogh originated them. Indeed, artists are generally rewarded for taking such risks, such leaps of imagination (if not always while they’re alive). As long as that’s true, robots won’t be having many gallery openings.

The Newsflash series connects Mia’s collection with current events. Read more on this topic: “Why Artificial Intelligence Won’t Displace Human Artists,” Bloomberg, 12.16.16.

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