It is a great honour to be an invited speaker at this year’s IJCAI (24th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence) in the AI & The Arts track. This year the conference is located at Buenos Aires, Argentina – the first time in South America.
The title of my keynote talk will be “Art is a System”, which will look at specific approaches for AI research in the arts in order to better understand human creative processes and practice.
In addition, I’ll also be presenting a new paper (co-authored with Mark d’Inverno):
Heroic vs Collaborative AI for the Arts
This paper considers the kinds of AI systems we want involved in art and art practice. We explore this relationship from three perspectives: as artists interested in expanding and developing our own creative practice; as AI researchers interested in building new AI systems that contribute to the understanding and development of art and art practice; and as audience members interested in experiencing art. We examine the nature of both art practice and experiencing art to ask how AI can contribute. To do so, we review the history of work in intelligent agents which broadly speaking sits in two camps: autonomous agents (systems that can exhibit intelligent behaviour independently) in one, and multi-agent systems (systems which interact with other systems in communities of agents) in the other.
In this context we consider the nature of the relationship between AI and Art and introduce two opposing concepts: that of “Heroic AI”, to describe the situation where the software takes on the role of the lone creative hero and “Collaborative AI” where the system supports, challenges and provokes the creative activity of humans. We then set out what we believe are the main challenges for AI research in understanding its potential relationship to art and art practice.
More details on my presentations and the conference to follow.
Robotic Fabrication in Architecture, Art & Design.
Rob|Arch 2016 will take place shortly before Easter 2016 in Sydney Australia, with Dagmar Reinhardt and Rob Saunders of the University of Sydney as conference chairs.
They are joined by Marjo Niemelä (University of Sydney), Mari Velonaki and Hank Haeusler (UNSW), Chris Knapp and Jonathan Nelson (Abedian School of Architecture, Bond University), Jane Burry, Roland Snooks, and Nicholas Williams (RMIT), Dave Pigram (UTS), and Tim Schork and Jon McCormack (Monash University) as co-chairs.
WORKSHOPS: MARCH 15–17, 2016
CONFERENCE: MARCH 18–19, 2016
Here is the RobArch2016_Call for Papers_Workshops.
For more information see the conference website.
Call for Submissions, special issue of Digital Creativity, 27:1, January 2016
the flesh that covers me is the flesh that covers the sun (Dylan Thomas)
Guest editors: Stanislav Roudavski and Jon McCormack
This special issue aims to audit existing conceptions of creativity in the light of non-anthropocentric interpretations of agency, autonomy, subjectivity, social practices and technologies. Specifically, it seeks to explore how 1) the agents, recipients and processes of creativity and 2) the purpose, value, ethics and politics of creativity relate to phenomena of computation. The editors encourage innovative narrative or visual strategies that can express relevant scenarios better that more typical forms of academic writing. Dialogues, conversations, plays, scripts, instruction sets, games or visual essays (for example) might be suitable alongside logical arguments or formulae. Initial proposals should be submitted as abstracts of 800–1200 words, exclusive of references and biographies.
The Full Call for Submissions is available as a pdf.
This major exhibition explores the twilight world of human/machine creativity in contemporary art, including installations of video and computer art, artificial intelligence, robotics and apps by twenty-five leading artists including well-known international artists, Goldsmiths staff and students.
The exhibition opening coincides with the Human Interactive Conference 9:30am—6pm Thursday 6 Nov 2014
Exhibition Flyer [pdf]
Exhibition Catalogue [pdf]
Memo Atken • Cécile Babiole • Daniel Berio • Balint Bolygo • Damien Borowik • Paul Brown • Simon Colton • Ernest Edmonds • Ian Gouldstone • Yoichiro Kawaguchi • William Latham • Andy Lomas • Manu Luksch • Alex May/Anna Dumitriu • Jon McCormack • Parashkev Nachev • Vesna Petresin • Quayola • Félix Luque Sánchez • Naoko Tosa • Peter Todd • Patrick Tresset • Harwood/Wright/Yokokoji
William Latham, Atau Tanaka and Frederic Fol Leymarie
More information at: www.creativemachine.org.uk
I presented a new paper at EvoMUSART 2014 in Granada, Spain (23-25 April 2014):
Balancing Act: variation and utility in Evolutionary Art.
The paper looks at the tradeoffs required between the expressive ability of a generative system and the proportion of useful or interesting results it is capable of producing. Structural or organisational rules increase the probability of getting useful results, but this is typically at the expense of the potential variety the system can produce. Thus the designer of any system needs to find a balance between organisational structure and expressive diversity to get the best results from any system.
Evolutionary Art typically involves a tradeoff between the size and flexibility of genotype space and its mapping to an expressive phenotype space. Ideally we would like a genotypic representation that is terse but expressive, that is, we want to maximise the useful variations the genotype is capable of expressing in phenotype space. Terseness is necessary to minimise the size of the overall search space, and expressiveness can be loosely interpreted as phenotypes that are useful (of high fitness) and diverse (in feature space). In this paper I describe a system that attempts to maximise this ratio between terseness and expressiveness. The system uses a binary string up to any maximum length as the genotype. The genotype string is interpreted as building instructions for a graph, similar to the cellular programming techniques used to evolve artificial neural networks. The graph is then interpreted as a form-building automaton that can construct animated 3-dimensional forms of arbitrary complexity. In the test case the requirement for expressiveness is that the resultant form must have recognisable biomorphic properties and that every possible genotype must fulfil this condition. After much experimentation, a number of constraints in the mapping technique were devised to satisfy this condition. These include a special set of geometric building operators that take into account morphological properties of the generated form. These methods were used in the evolutionary artwork ‘Codeform’, developed for the Ars Electronica museum. The work generated evolved virtual creatures based on genomes acquired from the QR codes on museum visitor’s entry tickets.