Oliver Nordh

Den konstgjorda konstnären – om betydelsen i robotskapade bilder

This is the abstract for my bachelor's thesis in Art history and visual communication which can be read in full (in Swedish) at GUPEA.

This essay aims to examine the meaning of pictures created by means of artificial intelligence. Using the methods stated in Vilém Flusser’s ”Towards a philosophy of photography”, I peruse two pictures created by artificial neural network algorithms. These pictures are confusingly similar to what a human might have created, thus creating a confusing set of different meanings.

I also examine the similarity between Flusser’s description of the camera programme and Nick Bostrom’s modern day description of the possible consequences of machine superintelligence.This possible development of artificial machine intelligence and what that might mean for humanity also informs the meaning of these pictures.

Furthermore, I discuss the different possible ways of understanding the creation of an artificial creativity. The making of a maker robot might be considered the artistic act itself, making the resulting artifacts byproducts rather than artworks. Alternatively, the articifial creativity might be considered an intelligent tool, automating certain aspects of the artistic work, enabling human play with art. In Flusser’s view, both interpretations might entail the disappearance of human intention from the pictures themselves. Through this analysis of artificial creativity, this essay attempts to contribute to the ongoing discussion on machine intelligence and automation present in other disciplines.