On art and machines

Machines cannot make art, they can learn a craft. And right now I think the world should focus more on teaching machines things that people cannot do. Machines may be able to learn a technique and repeat it perfectly, they may be able to generate a song that sounds like the Beatles or paint a picture like Van Gogh, but it’s a mechanical process. Art is about and made with consciousness, art comes from the interminable fear of death, from the awareness of finiteness, from the hope of crossing the incalculable gulf. Don’t you tell me that an algorithm can make art. Maybe an artificially conscious mind could. But what we have now, these never ending charade of self-reflecting imitation, is just a confirmation of the human condition. Emotion and empathy may be seen as a weakness in a grand scheme of beautiful objectivity, but it is what makes us human and imperfection is what makes art art. Let us make a machine that understands emotion and furthermore understands what we may never be able to. Not puppets painting with electric brushes on binary canvases.

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