Artificial Intelligence in servicing or threatening culture?

Artificial Intelligence, following the gigantic leaps taken in the past years, especially through Machine Learning, has invaded all domains and aspects of our lives. It was therefore inevitable that the question about Artificial Intelligence and how it can be used or its potential in the cultural domain would be raised. And the core question here is: “Can machines make art?”. There is a lot of controversy, with supporters of AI art claiming that evidence of AI generated art not only exists, but has also been evaluated with several examples of AI art valued at high prices, such as the Portrait of Edmond Belamy, sold at Christie’s New York auction in 2018 at the price of $432,500.

But this is merely the tip of the iceberg. Machines, through Artificial Intelligence claim much more than the ability to create art: they also challenge humans in their ability to evaluate, preserve, reproduce and appraise (even advance?) art. Several examples of the above already exist, while research findings promise spectacular results quite soon.

And this does not stop here: the ability of machines to imitate the speaking, writing, walking styles, gesture making and facial expressions of humans (i.e. through Natural Language Processing), and the amazing capabilities of rendering real life scenes and avatars projected over real world objects through mixed reality technologies, introduce a new question: Will (or are perhaps already), and should the machines be allowed to try an re-animate personalities that have marked the cultural and historical past of humanity? Can and should ethical norms be applied?

This particular topic, presenting a series of practical examples of the potential of AI, will try to have a sneak peek in the Pandoras box that the use of AI in culture might open.