Monday, January 4, 2010

How do computers interpret art, beauty and aesthetic?

Some mathematical algorithms actually give computer a clue about the certain style of painting of the certain artist. The composition of colors or some other aesthetic measurements can already be quantified by a computer, but computers are still far from being able to interpret art in the way that people do because artificial intelligence still lacks far behind human intelligence in terms of art and aesthetics.

The Scientists from the Laboratory of Graphics and Image in the University of Girona and the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, in Germany have shown that certain artificial vision algorithms mean a computer can be programmed to interpret an image and differentiate between artistic styles but based only on low-level pictorial information such as brush thickness, the type of material and the composition of the palette of colors.

Humans, on the other hand interpret art by using medium and high-level pictorial information such as type of painting (landscape, portrait, etc.), historical concept, and personal knowledge about the certain artist. Art can only partially be explained by mathematics, and therefore I highly doubt that computers will be able to interpret art like humans now can in years to come because humans do much more than just analyzing pixels and color distribution like computers do.

Human and computer perception of beauty and aesthetics are two completely different things, and though computer technology is constantly developing I do not see how computers would develop sense for beauty and the fine art. For that computers would have to have a human perception, and this is really only possible in some Sci-fi movies.