Bengaluru now houses the Museum of Art and Photography (MAP). Attending a dinner at the MAP Terrace, I got a glimpse of the different floors and what appears to be another excellent development for Bengaluru’s creative arts scene. Not long ago I visited the National Gallery of Modern Art, which had an exhibition of miniatures by Bireswar Sen. The Bangalore International Center was also a great addition, with its tasteful spaces and superbly curated interactions. A great city should have creative spaces with global standards, and Bengaluru is coming!
As all of this is happening around us, a tremendous revolution in creativity and art is brewing. With artificial intelligence (AI) tools like DALL.E and Mid Journey creating visual art from text descriptions, the ability to develop scripts and poetry with ChatGPT, and many ways to create AI music, we’re well on our way into a new age of creativity The magnitude of what was happening during the European Renaissance.
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I’ve used many of the tools, critically evaluated the results, and been impressed enough to write this article. I generated dialogs in a script with AI, created variations of my drawings, deleted parts of the AI generated drawing and made it iterate, and created entirely new artworks using only text descriptions. AI output can even be combined with other digital advances to animate images with audio and video.
One of the crucial factors that contributed to the creative flourishing of the Renaissance in 15th and 16th century Europe was the patronage of wealthy individuals and institutions. These patrons, who included powerful rulers, the church, and wealthy merchants, provided financial support to artists and scholars, enabling them to go about their work without worldly worries about earning a living. Today, this function is being fulfilled by the open source revolution and the funding of organizations like OpenAI by thriving industries.
Another aspect of the Renaissance was the exchange of ideas during this period. As a result, the Renaissance was a time of great intellectual ferment, and scholars from different disciplines often collaborated, exchanging ideas, and collaborating on projects. Today, sharing ideas across age groups and regions is achieved in part by training neural networks with relevant data. The resulting machine-learned latent space can accept appropriate prompts and generate new creative outcomes. In addition, collaboration is facilitated through software platforms that bring communities of practice together.
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A challenge for AI-supported creativity is the dependence on public data. As more and more public data is machine generated, AI can engineer genetic defects from incestuous data! Human ingenuity and manual results will therefore remain crucial to the further development of AI.
This is also the week that Naatu-Naatu won Best Original Song at the Oscars. The music, beat and lyrics of the song are hyper local. The original Telugu language texts describe Poleramma Jatra, a local festival; Potaraju, a local dancing deity; Jonna Rotti, the local sorghum roti with shredded onions and chilies. It will take time for the AI to be able to produce the magic of Keeravani’s music, Chandra Bose’s lyrics, Prem Rakshit’s choreography, Ram Charan’s dance and Rajamouli’s vision. The ability to move the soul is nuanced and constantly evolving while remaining grounded in visceral emotion. Moving the soul may not be easy for the AI as it is only rooted in past data. However, AI might be able to provide some much-needed inspiration by expanding a fragment of music and completing lyrics! In fact, the efficiency of those doing creative work has changed forever!