Artifical intelligence is already better than you at everything. Now, “creative AI” is designing its own inspiring (and more than slightly unsettling) works of art.

At RobotArt 2018, an annual competition held for international deep-mind engineers to demonstrate the skill sets of their unique algorithmic minds, AI defied its stereotypical bounds of problem-solving tech to dabble in creative expression. The works of these artificial intelligence entities, ranging in origin from Taiwan to California, demonstrate how far the field of machine-learning has come. They also implicate some interesting questions about the nature of inspiration and what, exactly, defines consciousness.

Having completed its third round, the annual RobotArt Competition aims to amass a virtual gallery of the most beautiful art created by artificial intelligence — basically, it wants to become the Louvre for robots. The 2018 first-place winner, CloudPainter, created astounding works that show that AI demonstrates a vast gap from the work of early algorithms, with creations that overcame the gap from the genre’s previous trademark of the uncannily surreal into a new culture of refined aesthetic and appealing design, with some creative works even appearing indistinguishable from those of human artists.

The 2018 competition was different. The robot competitors, programmed with Deep Mind machine-learning, actually used paintbrushes to create the final products of their work.

Here are the most interesting works of art from the 2018 International RobotArt Competition, testament to the new ways that artificial intelligence shows an unexpected capacity for creativity (and, some might argue, something strangely resembling the wonder of consciousness) for the first time in known history.

2018 Competition Winners

Gallery: CloudPainter, 1st Place 

Gallery: PIX18, 2nd Place 

Gallery: CMIT ReArt, 3rd Place 

Gallery: Late Night Projects, 4th Place 

 

The RobotArt Competition’s founder Andrew Conru describes why he loves art by artificial intelligence — and why he doesn’t think it invalidates human creativity.

“The camera didn’t invalidate the portrait artist, as the portrait artist was often trying to capture a deeper emotion [rather than] a perfect copy of the sitter,” Conru writes on the RobotArt site.“However, the camera opened up a whole new form of art—photography. Likewise, human-generate[d] art will always be highly respected not only for its creativity, but … our shared human experience.”

What do you think of AI art? Let us know your opinion on artificial intelligence in the comments.

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