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Rise of the Robot Artist

By Pacific Standard

November 27, 2013

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Artificial intelligence (AI) over the past 40 years has focused on problem-solving, but the field is now turning to challenges involving creativity. Innovation is defined by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office as a novel, useful, and non-obvious extension of existing ideas, and psychologists offer similar definitions of creativity. Several software programs are emerging that are able to generate works that meet this definition.

For example, British AI researcher Simon Colton developed "emotionally aware" software called the Painting Fool, which scans news articles to ascertain a mood from world news and reflects that mood in portraits of designated subjects.

In addition, Brigham Young University researchers have created the Pseudo-Intelligent Evolutionary Real-time Recipe Engine (PIERRE), a virtual chef that displays creativity by searching the Internet for highly rated recipes and recombining ingredients in unique ways. PIERRE uses a recombinatory method called an evolutionary computation, which is based on logic and vocabulary from the genetics field. In genetic recombination, specific alleles remain together, just as in PIERRE's evolutionary computation in which certain food elements remain together.

Meanwhile, composer and programmer David Cope has developed software that composes new music in the style of canonical composers, with results that most human judges could not distinguish from music composed by people.

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