A computer-generated artwork is going to auction at Sotheby’s – but will AI art have staying power?

Mario Klingemann, a German artist who uses AI in his work, has radical views on creativity. “Humans are not original,” he says. “We only reinvent, make connections between things we have seen.” While humans can only build on what we have learned and what others have done before us, “machines can create from scratch”.

It’s an interesting perspective. Setting aside whether or not human creativity is limited and indeed what precisely creativity is, it’s certainly true that artificial neural networks being developed today work out the rules as they go along, rather than being taught. AlphaGo, the AI that defeated the Korean go grandmaster Lee Sedol, was fed thousands of games, but no rules. It worked out how to play go entirely by itself.

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