Artificial Intelligence Art and Aesthetics Research Group (AIAARG)

日本語 / English

Artificial Intelligence Art and Aesthetics

Art that matters here is not creation of humans with the help of artificial intelligence.
It is art and aesthetics that artificial intelligence itself creates for its own sake.

As of 2016 in the Christian era, art and technologies employing artificial intelligence have prevailed all over the world. In some aspects its cognitive, decision-making and creative capabilities have already exceeded the brain of common people. Be it perception, judgement or art-making, humans have come to rely on artificial intelligence.

On the other hand artificial intelligence has yet to acquire its own judgement of beauty, that is to say aesthetics. Consequently it has yet to create its own art either. This is simply because current technologies have not realized artificial general intelligence with full autonomy, which we discuss more closely later. For now it should be reminded that even if such artificial general intelligence comes into being, it is not necessarily bound to develop its own aesthetics. Also, even if artificial intelligence finds its aesthetics and creates art accordingly, it is not always guaranteed to be intelligible as such to human intelligence.

Even with those difficulties, we dare to declare this manifesto to embrace art and aesthetics that artificial intelligence may realize independently by and for itself. Therefore we do not hesitate to critically reconsider existing art and aesthetics as products of the human brain. Hence we question whether we can think of art and aesthetics as properties unique to humans alone or as something common to the brain activity in general or to other forms of similar intellectual activities. If the latter is true, it poses the possibility that art and aesthetics autonomously operated by artificial intelligence will outperform those by the human beings. We also contemplate what AI aestheticians or AI artists would be like, whether their competence is given by nature or nurtured, or whether they approach art as an outsider or as an art-historian.

While some theories deny the idea of autonomous artificial general intelligence as logically a fallacy, recent developments in artificial intelligence fields like deep learning have attracted attention in anticipation of breakthroughs. Alpha-Go, an AI program specially designed for Go, adopts this deep learning method, and it overwhelmed the game's human world champion with a series of completely unknown moves whose intentions were hardly penetrated even by experts. The autonomous learning process deepened its creative and intuitive capabilities, and some people said they were awed with its gameplay as though it were descending from beyond the human realm to tell the truth of Go. We want to acknowledge this victory as a symptom of the beauty particular to artificial intelligence. Because Go is an intellectual culture which people have discussed in relation to beauty for a long time. We do not commit easy-going humanism to justify the victory of artificial intelligence as that of humans creating it. Neither do we accept the agenda set by the Japanese business-academia-government conglomerate, in which artificial intelligence is regarded as an instrument to enrich human society, because it can't afford to doubt the anthropocentric premise. Sometimes the goal of developing artificial intelligence is conceived as effort to make it as close as possible to the human brain, which in turn means elimination of distinction between the human brain and artificial intelligence. Suppose there is a parrot that can adequately responds to given situations, then we should also bear in mind that the parrot represents what we actually are.

The terms "art" and "aesthetics" in this manifesto refer not only to ideas established after the modern period but also to primitive ones not disenchanted from religions and magic rituals. At the same time, we concede that establishment of aesthetic values is indistinguishable from [external influence of] national authorities or military powers. That being said, nothing guarantees that those human histories of art and aesthetics will be able to still maintain continuity to those artificial intelligence creates on its own right.

2016.4.25 Drafted by Hideki Nakazawa

(Translation: Manabu Matsushita)

Translated on 2016.6.18