Sapiens, Pigasso and ARTificial Intelligence

The Bangalore edition of Times Of India recently carried two very interesting stories on the 13th of March 2019. Art from a Pig and an artist in Artificial Intelligence. Both very intriguing and interesting topics. All along we humans thought that ART was solely a human privilege. In fact Yuval Noah Harari world renowned for his book "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind" called out in his book that Art was one of the main features that distinguished us, the Sapiens, form other primates and organisms. He says our ability to imagine laid the foundation for the Cognitive Revolution which gave rise to Art.

A pig that is capable of expressing itself through brush stokes and a programming logic that can mimic emotions through music seems fascinating. But does this mean we have suddenly lost our monopoly in creating Art? 


Well first thing we need to ask is does the Pig have anything to express through his brush strokes? And does the AI algorithm created to produce music feel anything at all? Not likely! Then why is it Art? The answer to these questions lies with us and is in our heads. Initially none of these creations were labelled Art, but as we attributed uniqueness and linked our emotions to these creations, we happened to like these creations, and thats when Art was born out of these creations. The more people talk about it the more "Artistic" the creations become and the more value it inherits. So it is true that Art is truly a Human privilege.

But this is rather short sighted for any art lover to say, does it mean all Art starts off initially as just plain creations and then gains the "ART" label? I would not rather answer that since there is no right answer. All that's important at the end of the day is "Do you like the art or not?". If Yes enjoy it irrespective of the source, if Not, move on!!!

What do you say? Would love to hear your thoughts.

- Sriharsha Ganjam

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