Art snobs are annoyed at artificial intelligence restoring lost works

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One of the most intriguing aspects of modern artificial intelligence is its incorporation in classic art, music and literature. For example, in recent months, AI has been used to restore lost works by Pablo Picasso and Rembrandt. Of course, this has only been to the annoyance of art snobs.

Art Snobs vs Artificial Intelligence

Reported by BGD, the fine art community isn't entirely pleased with the integration of artificial intelligence into vintage artwork. In fact, the recent use of AI to recover lost work is being heavily criticised.

The recent spark of criticism comes after an AI program was used to recreate Gustav Klimt's "Philosophy". Created in 1900, the painting was destroyed in a fire in 1945. However, black and white photographs of the artwork remained.

With artificial intelligence, Google Arts and Culture recreated a colour version of "Philosophy". The program used the different shades of black and white to determine what colors are supposed to be where.

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Philosophy

However, members of the fine art community are unconvinced that the AI’s reconstruction is what the painting should look like. Compared to other Klimt pieces, the coloured “Philosophy” is rather dull, lacking vibrancy in its mostly dark-green backgrounds. On the other hand, it does have a similar pallet to the 1915 painting “Death and Life”.

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The critics speak out

The majority of criticisms regarding artificial intelligence reconstructing art is that it can't be trusted. While the technology will never be completely perfect, it's critics believe that there's no way of knowing if it's even in the right ballpark.

Director of New York’s Galerie St. Etienne, Jane Kallir, said: "I don't know any better than Google what those paintings really look like, but I don't think that they looked like that. These things look like cartoons. They don't look like Klimt paintings. It's like people who try to clone their dogs. You can do it, but it's not the same dog."

AI developers will not give up on classic media anytime soon. Artificial Intelligence has already been used to reconstruct Beethoven’s missing Symphony. Additionally, developers are using the tech to derive new works in the style of Dante Aligheri.

The argument in favour of “art snobs” is still valid. There’s no way of knowing whether or not AI reconstructions are anywhere near the original work. Then again, it's the closest we’re going to get.