Well you are right! But is that all that we can use data for - to produce other data? 🔢
Until recently I thought so. But then I listened to a recent Towards Data Science podcast episode with the headline "Machine Learning as a creative tool". That prompted me to explore how Machine Learning and Deep Learning are being used to create art.
The creations I have found astounded me. At Le Wagon, we often have to break the myth that coding is about math and logic. Coding is, in fact, a creative process. But the applications of Data Science for art that I have found take the creativity of coding to a whole other level. I want to take you on the same journey and I encourage you to explore the original articles linked in this post.
It all started with data scientists at Google (it usually does, doesn't it?). They made the game Quick, Draw! that uses neural network to recognise doodles. But this article is not about image recognition, it's about using Data Science to create art!
🎨 More than a doodle - a zentangle
If you are hearing the word "zentangle" for the first time, you are not alone - because it's the first time I heard it too. But it's an art form that we have all seen, and might even be guilty of ourselves, especially during those boring phone calls.
The results are very cool! While this creates intricate art, Kalai also predicts that the same technique can be used for any visual design generation - from logos to t-shirts.
🖼 AI competes with painters at the auction
Not impressed yet? Okay, let's look at something more impressive - $400,000 more.
And while these look like 18th-century artworks, they aren't. They were painted in 2018, by a general adversarial network, built by the genius French art collective Obvious.
The bottom right portrait made this way, Edmond de Belamy, was picked up by Christie's - one of the major auction houses worldwide. The auction was planning to sell it below $10,000. It was sold for $432,500. And you thought it's the creative jobs that are safe from robots, ha. 🤖The same art collective, Obvious, now have a new project - using GANs to generate 18th century Japanese style art!
⬛️ AI trying it at modern art
The artworks so far have all had some sort of logic or "rules" around them - a defined style, a human shape and face. But what happens when we task a machine to be more... expressionist? 🎨
William used a technique called Markov chains. This machine learning algorithm is all around us - from predictive texting on your phone, to autocomplete in emails, to social media bots.
I'll admit, something feels off compared to the real Bauhaus paintings above. But the interesting thing here is that there's relatively very little data being used to train this model and with Markov chains we're literally asking a machine to follow it's gut feeling and make art!
Be sure to check out William's article for more examples and even an AI-made T-shirt? 😮
Computers are useless. They can only give answers.
- Pablo Picasso, 1968
Picasso could not predict what modern-day computers will be capable of. The same way that we can't predict what will be possible a few decades from today.
But I like where this is going.