Disclaimer: this article contains opinions and predictions you may disagree with. Don’t hesitate to create a space to debate and share your ideas with us.
Will we talk about artists robots in the future?
I always find it impressive, how the world is changing fast. And this fact pushes me to ask, if robots will be called artists, in a time when they’ll be able to do every sort of routine job, and every kind of automated tasks. One answer comes to the mind, if robots will be able to perform consciously valuable artwork, and synthesize emotions out of saved data and external behaviors. Robots will gain a position of super-artists, independently from the flawlessness of their art techniques and their awareness of human art history.
In a fast changing world, can robots beat human artists? Maybe! I don’t believe it will be anytime soon, but if somehow robots become super-artists. Human beings, following their behavior in the present time, will not be easy to improve upon. People want human contact. We can say so, Art beside creating beauty, is also a human way to communicate. And to ignite their emotional side, instead of the moving machine, humanoid, or touch screen, people prefer to create a sort of instinctive link with humans. We can see this even now, in the train station, or even McDonald’s.
It is true human behavior might change in the future. When technology changes a human experience or automates a task, people tend to adapt and create alternatives. If Art will no longer be this exclusive bridge of emotion power, expression of reality and imagination, or simply a representation of life and other qualities – Robots will transcend with art to build new patterns for human expression, evolution and learning. Driving obviously, new behaviors.
Robots produce art, already!
What I think is, people will perceive at least, robots artists, as art. The contrast they create is emotion driving. Have you checked the hologram performing on stage in Japan? Imagine it in the near future, linked to an AI, similar to the one developed by Sony CSL Research Laboratory, who could encapsulate thousands of pages of sheet music to produce “Daddy’s Car”, a song polished by a human composer. If you remove the layer of consciousness, absent so far in robots, you can feel already, the sophisticated artwork we could see in the future. A next generation of machine/human artist’s duality.
Robots produce art already. Creativity and the degree of complexity is infinite, it reminds me of the nearly infinite worlds of “No Man’s Sky”. Also, “Sunspring”, a short sci-fi film written by an AI. Fun fact! That AI called itself, Benjamin.
So Imagine, what we can do if robots will produce artworks, respecting human’s standards and beyond: a viral hit, or an Oscar winning movie, or a complex abstract painting. What if your favorite artist is not human? This is our new creative frontier if the imitative algorithms will evolve to include consciousness to the robots. Will move beyond simple actions like composing music, to lead art initiatives in more profound ways and create new art styles and technics.
Will robots have a heart, beating for art?
A robot as “a machine that automates a physical task”. The analogy between the senses and sensors, software and brain, machine and body, goes in parallel with the main principle of biomimicry. The only ingredient left for a robot to become true artist, is consciousness and subjective perception.
In the Journal of Consciousness Studies, consciousness is coded into photons, as a given property, which gives possibility, to actually find in the future, the robot version of consciousness.
Artist! Will they take your job in the future?
As artists, do we work to live? Or live to work?
In both cases, if a robot takes your job, new jobs will arise to make use of your talent. With a new level of efficiency and impact. I believe a robot will never replace an artist as a human creator, but I believe an artist, taking advantage of the performance of robots and technology, is definitely going to replace normal artists. What else? I believe if inequality of job opportunities in the creative sector will happen in the future, the reason will definitely be social or political challenges.
After all! We are just predicting!
This article is not a side effect of watching the WestWorld serie, it’s just the reflection behind the technological change we’re experiencing in this period. Any prediction about a robot art revolution could fail. After all, our lifestyle depends on many variables, and it will not lead anytime soon to stop our creativity.