Art & Algorithms

Photo app Prisma has taken the internet by storm with millions of downloads in its first week. Unlike apps like Instagram that overlay filters, Prisma uses a deep learning algorithm to turn your photo into an artwork based on different graphical styles of popular artists.

So if you’ve ever wanted a portrait that resembles a Picasso, or a landscape that looks like a Levitan, it has never been easier. Snap a photo or pick one from your camera roll, select a style and let the magic happen.

New filters are being added every day which will help combat the stylised looks becoming stale. Creator, Alexey Moiseenkov, published a 360-degree image on Facebook, and has hinted at adding video functionality to the app in future.

Prisma is not the only example of using deep learning algorithms to create art. ‘The next Rembrandt‘ to name another recent example, is a project that created exceptionally detailed 3D-printed painting in the style of the Dutch artist.

Increased sophistication of Deep Learning Algorithms and AI leads us to a new type of generative art. Although some have concerns that it will devalue what artists do, I like to think this is an exciting part of our culture. Is this art? Subjective – but probably not. It does, however, pose some interesting questions. We could view this as a step on the road towards artificial intelligence creating art, or just a piece of software to expand artist’s tool sets.

It’s not unusual for an aspiring artist to imitate their favorite painter or musician’s style. Since the invention of the computer, people have been working with them to explore new areas of creativity. Moreover, new technologies coming out of the current AI advancements will speed up the progress. I suspect artists will do what they have been doing all the time, find all the available inspiration, pick them up, and create something new & beautiful.

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