Machine Creativity: The robot as an artist's tool

Machine Creativity: The robot as an artist's tool

Is human creativity disappearing?

My name is Vladimir Tsimberg, and I am the founder of Robohood Inc. Inspired by technological solutions that simplify human life, we have taught robots to paint. When discussing robotic art with the public, we often hear the questions, "This is a machine. Where is the place to live creativity? Where is the human touch?"

When considering it, we are all people with disabilities. One person excels at color, another at graphics or at crafting interesting concepts, while someone has a knack for working with brushes, and still others can offer a new visual philosophy. Only the exceptional artists possess all these talents. It is precisely these limitations that inspired us, as amateur artists, to create Robohood Inc. The robot just assists painting.

In contemporary art, new technologies play an important role. They help artists break through the limitations of a two-dimensional canvas and expand their creative horizons. Everyone is familiar with 3D printers. They have revolutionized the world of art and design. Living paintings, incredible sculptures, dresses that grow right on the models on the runway - with their help, objects have become works of art that take on a new life. With VR and AR technologies, artists have harnessed their power to create entire performances simultaneously in two worlds: the virtual and the physical.

To some extent, our technology combines these principles. A robot realizes a person's idea in front of their eyes - in the material world, you can watch the creation of what you have imagined in the digital world. In other words, the process of making art is the art.

Long ago, artists were shaken by the camera's invention. Traditional artists also saw photography as a threat, but in fact, it inspired a new creative movement, giving us abstraction, cubism, and other symbols of modernism. Pablo Picasso wrote: “Why should an artist persist in treating subjects that can be established so clearly with the lens of a camera? Photography has liberated artists." Today, the camera is not a passive device but an active participant in the creative process. While artists used to create numerous sketches as a basis for their paintings, they are now replaced by a vast number of photographs.

Artists' work is transforming, not fading away. Technology and tools are helping to free artists from technical tasks, allowing them to focus more on their creative expression.

Image-generating neural networks are also becoming part of this powerful creative arsenal. Artists often create many images using text prompts or references before they even approach the canvas. Today, there's little doubt about the value of these technological capabilities. Tools like Stable Diffusion and Midjourney have become as essential to the artist's canvas as paint, brushes, and a palette.

In the realm of creativity, approximately 90% of people use photo editing software. Every day, 10,000 new users join Photoshop, bringing the total number of new users to approximately 30 million by the end of 2022. This is double the number from five years ago.

Many artists also use printing technology as a tool to realize their artistic vision. They transfer digital images to paper or metal and add prints directly to finished canvases. Since 2014, the market for print sales has consistently hovered around $220 million to $240 million annually.

Contemporary art is a synthesis of the human and the technological. We position the robot as just another tool in the world of painting. Traditional artists who adhere solely to conventional methods and academic painting will not disappear. Meanwhile, those who never thought of becoming an artist may be inspired by new technologies. These technologies make the creative process and idea realization more accessible to them.

So will a robot replace a human in art? Answering this question definitively is impossible right now. It depends on expectations and perceptions. The value of generative art is the absence of a human creator. A year ago, Robohood created its first oil paintings on canvas, where a human was involved only in technical tasks such as providing the robot with paint and adjusting the canvas, while the Robotic artist handled the concept and its execution.

At the same time, others expect to witness human work and appreciate human ideas. Psychologically, they find it easier to relate to such art. If we think of the robot as a tool, then the painting can be seen as created by a human because they directed the process.

Artists have always sought new means of expression in their work, anything that could help them stand out or realize their concepts. In this eternal quest to capture the beauty and truth of the world on canvas, robots are a revolutionary addition to the arsenal of artistic creativity. This will lead us to incredible creations that we may never have imagined.

Robohood always creates unique art? Read the article 

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