What is the difference between synthetic pattern-making and those patterns recognized and reproduced musically by humans?
Is computer generated jazz, Jazz? Or is it, like the saxaphone and snare drum, just a new medium for discovery?
The more grandiose would-be applications of algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) are often preceded by ostensibly more manageable proving grounds – games, say. Before IBM’s question-answering computer, Watson, treats cancer, for example, it goes on the TV quiz show Jeopardy! Google’s AlphaGo took on a top human Go champion in a ‘grand challenge’ for AI. But these contests aren’t trivial stepping stones – they can be seen as affronts to humankind. One commentator, realising that Google’s program would win a match, said he ‘felt physically unwell’.
It’s much the same for computer art projects. Kim and his friend Evan Chow, whose code is used in deepjazz, are members of the youngest generation of a long lineage of computer ‘artists’.
Read There is No Difference Between Computer Art and Human Art for yourself.