So, creative computers may be a long way off from now, with the basic baby steps being taken with concepts such as the poetry writing robot. However, artists are finding ever more ways of using computers to improve their work. A symbiosis of entities, being the artist and their computer, they can do much more than either can alone. When we combine our efforts, the scope for creativity is huge. Now as we see animation almost completely reliant on computers, photography is touched up by standard, and manuscripts must be sent in digital format. It's all very digital these days, and it's because it gets easier to be creative and then use the creativity when it's a bunch of binary.
The annual Siggraph conference draws together experts in the field of creative computing, to showcase and talk about everything new. They've been meeting in this way since the 1970s when digital first began to make an impact in a big way. In this year's conference, AI was the dish of the day, with several projects exploring the possibilities that it offers. It seems that side-car computer intelligence is going to be something more people use as the technology evolves.
In animation, the benefits of machine learning can be shown to adequately create 3D drawings from 2D ones inputted by a person. DeepSketch2Face is a University of Hong Kong project designed for just that, and although currently pointing at social media and avatar usage, the know-how could easily translate into many more sectors. Bendsketch is offering a similar tool, this joint project from Hong Kong University, Microsoft Asia, and the University of British Columbia is using computer intelligence to convert simple line drawings of objects into 3D rendered examples.
Perhaps the most commonly used application in art is digital photo manipulation. A project by MIT and Google has aimed at using bilateral deep learning to aid with this very task. It is said to learn how to best edit an image according to previous data. The algorithm takes a low resolution version, predicts the best edits, then uploads the edits which are transposed over the original image. This is said to work on smartphones in real-time without lag, thanks to the smart thinking technology.
The Pandora's box of digital applications in art is open, and all we can do is sit back and enjoy what the programmers think of next. It's going to be a truly exciting time for artists as the technology increasingly improves and gives us more scope and ability to create wonderful pieces and artworks.
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