The War over Creativity

bW Chronicles
published:
May 7, 2021
Words:

With Artificial Intelligence rising in prominence even in arts, can humans retain their monopoly over creativity?

As developments in AI become unstoppable, it raises a very difficult question; what will be the role of us humans, what will remain forus to contribute to art? Amongst the ‘human’ skills that researchers found will stay relevant, creativity, emotion and empathy top the list. Relieved that all is not yet lost. However, the way machines are replacing the man-made, soon there’ll be a time when nothing will have the human touch. Handwork has been heavily losing prominence in the face of soaring demand and question of affordability. Having said that, the onus is upon us humans to preserve the heritage of the handmade. Why should we care?

Art has been used to communicate thoughts and expressions since time immemorial. Art exists in every creation where a human was involved, from rolling the first coin to stitching the first garment.Though we have been using technological scaffolding to go beyond our biological limitations to create things, creativity has always been an input of humans and machines have always been the collaborator.

A recent study 'The Role of AI Attribution Knowledge in the Evaluation of Artwork' that measures how humans perceive artworks generated by AI alongside the artworks created by humans, has concluded that most people basically can’t tell the difference. This is a great achievement for the developments in Computational Creativity however, at the same time, deeply worrying. We need to be able to differentiate art created by human and by AI.

Taking example of Google’s Poem Portraits, an AI that creates art generated by an algorithm that was trained via deep learning- neural networks trained on 20 million words of 19th-century poetry. It uses a selfie and the individual’s choice of a word to create a unique portrait. In doing so, it applies historical knowledge and the mandate to create something new. One would argue that it is ‘art’. But it lacks a crucial element. See this algorithm once generated, can create millions of such portraits. Different selfies and different words but, the journey begins from an input by a human on something already created by a machine. This is not true creativity. Now, consider a human converting a lump of clay to a sculpture. She can create several sculptures but every time the journey will begin from nothing and the outcome will be unique, not just in terms of look but the emotions behind it. Because when humans create something, their thoughts travel across and that story is held captive in that artwork forever. This is true creativity.

“Popular opinion among creatives is that art is a process by which human beings express some idea or emotion, filter it through personal experience and set it against a broader cultural context—suggesting then that what AI generates at the behest of computer scientists is definitely not art, or at all creative.”

- Ken Weiner, Scientific American

Thankfully, a great number of people still exist who appreciate handwork. The significance of handwork remains, and the more the humans get awed by machines taking the baby steps of composing a lullaby or creating a portrait, there will always be a select few who choose to be mesmerised by something purely created by bare hands. We exist for those people. We firmly believe that pure handwork should be a part of everyone’s lives- as a reminder that creativity is something that every human being is bestowed with. That attribute we cannot give away to machines. It is our war against the machine made, a movement to preserve the heritage of the handmade. We are collaborating with women artisans from many wakes of their lives on one platform, by Woman. These women are special. They are exceptional in some sort of handwork and affirm with our ideology. Our buyers are those who understand that handwork should be cared for and valued, by passing down to the generations.  

We’re moving towards a new dawn to preserve the creative side of these women and reach as many hands of art curators as possible. We are onboarding women artists from all over India and working to bring affiliates and advisors, all women, to help us grow in the International markets.

Write to us at contact@bywoman.art if you feel you can make a difference for us, with us.

 

We firmly believe that pure handwork should be a part of everyone’s lives, as a reminder that creativity is something every human being is bestowed with. That attribute we cannot give away to the machines.
-Founder

Take home a legacy