Can Artworks by Artificial Intelligence be Artworks?

Yeonsook Park


The thinking power of Homo sapiens made human beings the lord of all creation. The ability to reason is also the premise of human existence. We, however, now know that this is not confined only to human but to Artificial Intelligence. Over the history of humankind, human beings have attempted to create an immortal being that could surpass their abilities and complements their inferiorities. We are making something immortal and transcendent, which are different properties from our own. Artificial Intelligence may be able to evolve on its own like humans have been doing. As a kind of numerical being, humans are able to be omnipresent with the technology provided. This new kind of existence makes us think about and see things differently. Humans are attempting to create ‘beings’ that can generate art, take care of weak human beings, talk and discuss human issues, and even fall in love with humans. As our minds can run beyond the boundaries created by our body limitations, we would like to infuse our creativity into AI that might evolve from its original state. Similar to what Prometheus did, humans are attempting to share their legacy with another existence. Recently a research team from Rutgers University in New Jersey proposed a system named CAN: Creative Adversarial Networks for generating art with creative characteristics. The team demonstrated a realization of this system based on a novel, creative adversarial network. Their proposed system possesses the ability to produce novel artworks which make people believe human artists produced them. The data the team proposes proves that AI now attempts to do something considered as a creative activity. With this research, the definition of art should be reconsidered. Since the Fountain(1917) by Duchamp, open concepts toward artworks have been embraced by many artists and their colleagues. However, it is time to contemplate the new phase. When we regard something as artwork, should it be created, selected, and combined by human beings? Is it possible that the thing that is accepted as artwork by people can be art? This paper seeks to propose several opinions regarding these questions.


Article received: June 23, 2019; Article accepted: July 6, 2019; Published online: October 15, 2019; Review article

How to cite this article: Park, Yeonsook. "Can Artworks by Artificial Intelligence be Artworks?" AM Journal of Art and Media Studies 20 (2019): 113-121. doi: 10.25038/am.v0i20.332


artificial intelligence; creativity; creative adversarial networks; processed accumulated information; producing artworks by AI.

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