The Painting Fool is one of a growing number of computer programs which, so their makers claim, possess creative talents. Classical music by an artificial composer has had audiences enraptured, and even tricked them into believing a human was behind the score. Artworks painted by a robot have sold for thousands of dollars and been hung in prestigious galleries. And software has been built which creates art that could not have been imagined by the programmer.


  Human beings are the only species to perform sophisticated creative acts regularly. If we can break this process down into computer code, where does that leave human creativity? ‘This is a question at the very core of humanity,’ says Geraint Wiggins, a computational creativity researcher at Goldsmiths, University of London. ‘It scares a lot of people. They are worried that it is taking something special away from what it means to be human.’

  人类是唯一可以常规化地进行繁杂造型艺术创作个人行为的种群.如果我们能够将这一全过程溶解变成电脑上编号,那把人类想像力放置何处呢?“这是一个事关人的本性最关键的难题”,伦敦大学金史密斯学校的一位电子计算机想像力科学研究专家学者Geraint Wiggins 那样说.“它让很多人害怕恐惧,她们忧虑这会从人类中夺走一些独特的本归属于人类的物品.”

  To some extent, we are all familiar with computerised art. The question is: where does the work of the artist stop and the creativity of the computer begin? Consider one of the oldest machine artists, Aaron, a robot that has had paintings exhibited in London’s Tate Modern and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Aaron can pick up a paintbrush and paint on canvas on its own. Impressive perhaps, but it is still little more than a tool to realise the programmer’s own creative ideas.


  Simon Colton, the designer of the Painting Fool, is keen to make sure his creation doesn’t attract the same criticism. Unlike earlier ‘artists’ such as Aaron, the Painting Fool only needs minimal direction and can come up with its own concepts by going online for material. The software runs its own web searches and trawls through social media sites. It is now beginning to display a kind of imagination too, creating pictures from scratch. One of its original works is a series of fuzzy landscapes, depicting trees and sky. While some might say they have a mechanical look, Colton argues that such reactions arise from people’s double standards towards software-produced and human-produced art. After all, he says, consider that the Painting Fool painted the landscapes without referring to a photo. ‘If a child painted a new scene from its head, you’d say it has a certain level of imagination,’ he points out. The same should be true of a machine.’ Software bugs can also lead to unexpected results. Some of the Painting Fool’s paintings of a chair came out in black and white, thanks to a technical glitch. This gives the work an eerie, ghostlike quality. Human artists like the renowned Ellsworth Kelly are lauded for limiting their colour palette - so why should computers be any different?

  “绘画愚人”的设计师Simon Colton 十分热切地要想保证他的商品不容易招来一样的指责.不象Aaron那样的初期艺术大师,“绘画愚人”只必须少量的命令,就能根据上外网检索原材料而造成自身的创作核心理念.这一手机软件起动其本身的搜索网页作用,访问每个社交网络网页页面.它如今也刚开始展现出了某类想像力,能从文稿中造就出详细的美术作品.它的原创作品之一是一系列若隐若现风景图画,勾勒的是花草树木与天上.尽管有的人或许要说这种美术作品有一种机械设备感,Colton却辩驳说,那样的反映是出自于大家看待手机软件创作和人类创作的造型艺术的双重标准.终究,他那样说,要充分考虑“绘画愚人”是在沒有参考一张照片的状况下绘制了这种景色.“假如一个孩子从自身的大脑中勾画出一副新的景色,你也就要说这一小孩有一定的想像力水准的”,她说,“放到一台设备上也理应一样.”手机软件系统漏洞也是有将会会导致出乎意料的实际效果.“绘画愚人”勾勒一把椅子的一些因为技术性常见故障著作变成黑白色.这授予了美术作品一种怪异、怪异的觉得.有一些如Ellsworth

  Kelly般知名的人类艺术家由于十分抑制地应用自身调色盘上的颜色而备受传扬——那麼放到电脑上的身上为何就理应各有不同呢? Researchers like Colton don’t believe it is right to measure machine creativity directly to that of humans who ‘have had millennia to develop our skills’. Others, though, are fascinated by the prospect that a computer might create something as original and subtle as our best artists. So far, only one has come close. Composer David Cope invented a program called Experiments in Musical Intelligence, or EMI. Not only did EMI create compositions in Cope’s style, but also that of the most revered classical composers, including Bach, Chopin and Mozart. Audiences were moved to tears, and EMI even fooled classical music experts into thinking they were hearing genuine Bach. Not everyone was impressed however. Some, such as Wiggins, have blasted Cope’s work as pseudoscience, and condemned him for his deliberately vague explanation of how the software worked. Meanwhile, Douglas Hofstadter of Indiana University said EMI created replicas which still rely completely on the original artist’s creative impulses. When audiences found out the truth they were often outraged with Cope, and one music lover even tried to punch him. Amid such controversy, Cope destroyed EMI’s vital databases.

  像Colton那样的学术研究们并不赞同将设备想像力立即与人类想像力一概而论相互之间较为,由于“人类早已有数千年的岁月来发展趋势人们的方法了”.另一些仁的意思痴迷于那样的市场前景:一台电脑上或许能跟人们最好是的艺术家相提并论,创作出一样颇具艺术创意而精致的著作.到迄今为止,只有一个贴近了这一总体目标.音乐家David Cope创造发明了一个程序流程,称之为“歌曲智能化试验”,通称EMI.EMI不但创作出了Cope设计风格的乐曲,并且还仿造出了最受崇敬的古典乐曲音乐家们的著作,包含巴赫、肖邦和莫扎特.观众们打动得泪如雨下,EMI乃至还骗得了古典乐曲层面的权威专家,让她们认为自身听见的是真实的巴赫著作.殊不知并不是任何人都对于此事表达了惊讶.有一些人,比如Wiggins,就强烈批判Cope 的此项造就为伪科学,还斥责他对这一程序流程究竟怎样运作的表述有意模棱两可.此外,马萨诸塞州高校的Douglas Hofstadter觉得,EMI创作的这种仿制品依然要彻底取决于原創艺术家的创作设计灵感.在粉丝们发觉了实情之后,她们对Cope 觉得出现异常恼怒,有一位乐迷乃至要想打他.在那样的一片异议声中,Cope消毁了EMI的重要数据库查询.

  But why did so many people love the music, yet recoil when they discovered how it was composed? A study by computer scientist David Moffat of Glasgow Caledonian University provides a clue. He asked both expert musicians and non- experts to assess six compositions. The participants weren’t told beforehand whether the tunes were composed by humans or computers, but were asked to guess, and then rate how much they liked each one. People who thought the composer was a computer tended to dislike the piece more than those who believed it was human. This was true even among the experts, who might have been expected to be more objective in their analyses.

  可是怎么会有那么多的人喜爱这些歌曲自身,在发觉了它是怎样被创作出去以后却胆怯了呢?格拉斯哥帕苏多尼亚高校的电子计算机生物学家David Moffat开展的一项科学研究出示了一条案件线索.他让技术专业作曲家和跨专业人员另外去评定六首乐曲.这种参加者并沒有被事前告之这种乐曲到底是由人类還是电脑上所创作的,可是被规定去开展猜想,随后得出自身对每一首歌曲爱好水平的点评.这些觉得创作者是电脑上的大家一般 会比这些觉得其创作者是人类的观众更讨厌这支乐曲.即便是在权威专家们当中状况也是这般,但大家实际上最初是觉得权威专家的剖析评定会更为客观性的.

  Where does this prejudice come from? Paul Bloom of Yale University has a suggestion: he reckons part of the pleasure we get from art stems from the creative process behind the work. This can give it an ‘irresistible essence’, says Bloom. Meanwhile, experiments by Justin Kruger of New York University have shown that people’s enjoyment of an artwork increases if they think more time and effort was needed to create it. Similarly, Colton thinks that when people experience art, they wonder what the artist might have been thinking or what the artist is trying to tell them. It seems obvious, therefore, that with computers producing art, this speculation is cut short - there’s nothing to explore. But as technology becomes increasingly complex, finding those greater depths in computer art could become possible. This is precisely why Colton asks the Painting Fool to tap into online social networks for its inspiration: hopefully this way it will choose themes that will already be meaningful to us.

  这类成见究竟来源于哪里?耶鲁大学的Paul Bloom提出了一个看法:他觉得人们从造型艺术中获得的愉快有一部分来自于著作身后的创作全过程.这能为它授予一种“不能抵触的精粹感”,Bloom说.此外,纽约大学的Justin Kruger 所开展的试验也显示信息:大家假如觉得创作某件工艺品必须大量的時间和活力,便会更为赏析它.相近地,Colton 觉得当大家去感受造型艺术时,她们会禁不住去好奇心艺术家那时候已经想干什么,或是艺术家已经尝试向她们表达什么.因而,这一点好像就很显著了:当创作造型艺术的是电脑上时,这类遐想就被切断了——由于没什么可探寻的.可是伴随着技术性越来越愈来愈繁杂,在电脑上的造型艺术创作中寻找这些实际意义深遂之处能够慢慢变成将会.更是因而,Colton才会标示“美术绘画愚人”去检索各社交网络网页页面来获得设计灵感:期待根据这类方法,它可能选择这些对人们而言早已具备实际意义的主题风格.