Apr 8, 2022 • 51M

"Taming Chaos: Generative Modeling As a Foil to Human Creativity"

A guest lecture by Dr. Scott Hawley

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On March 17th, we had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Scott Hawley of Belmont University at the Study Center for a second talk titled “Taming Chaos: Generative Modeling As a Foil to Human Creativity.”

Dr. Hawley is a Professor of Physics at Belmont, and his research interests include machine learning, neural networks, and the ethics of A.I. Last week, we posted his talk on machine learning and classification. Today, we are glad to post his reflections on generative models and creativity.

Here is how Dr. Hawley described the talk:

“We did it. We finally killed art.” This tweet in the summer of 2021 by Ryan Murdock summarized the feeding frenzy of worldwide activity in generative ‘A.I.’-based artwork since he first paired text prompts with image-generating software last January. The hard-won styles of seasoned masters could be appropriated with little more than a suffix of “in the style of [....].”  Sophisticated generative models of visual art have become increasingly common, with ever-higher qualities of output and speed of execution. Yet these exist along the continuum of the timeline of generative art stretching back centuries. The interplay between randomness and the intentionality of the artist is at the heart of disputes over whether such products constitute artwork and to what extent computational methods mimic or diverge from human creativity. In this talk, we provide a survey of historical and cutting-edge generative art methods, conversations, and opportunities presented by generative models used by humans in the creation of visual, textual, and auditory artistic artifacts.

During the talk, Dr. Hawley made extensive use of slides and you can view those here while you listen. You can also follow Dr. Hawley on Twitter @drscotthawley.

And finally, here is a link to a recent short essay by Dr. Hawley at A.I. Theology, “Human Mercy Is The Antidote To AI-Driven Bureaucracy.”

Image generated via Disco Diffusion 5.0 by @somnai