Hi <<First Name>>! You've been to one of my Creative AI meetup events and have opted in to receive occasional emails with updates on creative applications of artificial intelligence in art, music, design and beyond. Here's issue #9 😀
🎨 Art 🎨
The Lumen Prize announced its winners on Thursday, which saw Refik Anadol win the Gold Award, Sougwen Chung the Still Image Award and Dave Murray-Rust & Rocio von Jungenfeld the BCS AI award. Competition has been strong, there are plenty of great works on the shortlist and longlist, which I was on the selection committee for. In September, Mozilla announced the recipients of its Creative Media Awards dealing with how AI intersects with online media and truth.
TU Delft used a convolutional neural network to reconstruct Vincent Van Gogh's drawings that have deteriorated over time, while University College London researchers applied style transfer to x-radiographs of artwork to retrieve a Picasso painting. Nature wrote about the potential uses of machine learning for attribution, charting style development and preventing deterioration. Monash's SensiLab have developed Art or Not, an app that relies on visual information rather than philosophical understanding. Google Lens have partnered with Wescover to help users identify local works of art. Artsy found that AI still cannot predict auction prices, or at least for Mark Rothko.
New art projects from the last few months include Zach Blas's The Doors exploring psychedelia, Silicon Valley and AI; Gene Kogan's autonomous artificial artist Abraham AI; Sofia Crespo and Pinar&Viola’s Panspermia; Jake Elwes's 'London's first AI drag kid ' Zizidrag; Nicolas Boillot's Vectoglyphs, which explore vector forms as a foreign language; Asunder by Tega Brain, Julian Oliver and Bengt Sjölen, which simulates a fictitious geoengineering process to preserve our planet; the parody voice assistant Ally AI by American Artist and Rashida Richardson; Joel Simon's depiction of an emergent neural net visual language in clay tablets in Dimension of Dialogue; Mario Klingemann's Circuit Training, which generates images that are interesting to humans; the deteriorating face What I saw before the darkness by AI Told Me; Ewa Nowak's face jewelry against facial recognition; the auction of AI-generated tulips on the blockchain Bloemenveiling by Anna Ridler and David Pfau; the AI-generated sculpture Dio by Ben Snell; artificial human motion in asymmetry Blackberry Winter by Christian Mio Loclair; an examination of the limits of categorisation in machine learning systems in Layers of Abstraction: A Pixel at the Heart of Identity by Shinji Toya and Murad Khan;
YACHT released their new album Chain Tripping, for which they collaborated with many leading creative AI practitioners including Tom White, Magenta and Ross Goodwin. Jenna Sutela’s album nimiia vibié is the audio accompaniment to her earlier video installation work nimiia cétiï. Holly Herndon’s Proto, is an album created with Spawn, an AI trained to reproduce different voices. Dadabots have been generating free jazz using AI from aboard NASA space probe Voyager 3. AIVA completed an unfinished piano piece by Antonín Dvořák. Yuri Suzuki reimagined Raymond Scott's Electronium using Magenta. Google Creative Lab and NOAA, trained an AI on humpback whale songs and Kyle McDonald wrote about his experience on the project. Jai Paul created Bronze AI to generate unique and infinite playback of his piece Jasmine. Julianna Barwick made a sound art installation influenced by its environment for the new Sister City hotel in New York. Earlier this year, Warner Music signed a record deal for 20 albums with an algorithm.
Rebecca Fiebrink's Sound Control is out, an accessible software for making custom musical instruments with sensors. Leandro Garber’s AudioStellar is an open source data-driven musical instrument for latent sound structure discovery and music experimentation. There’s also a real-time voice cloning implementation by Corentin Jemine.
OpenAI released MuseNet, which can generate musical compositions with 10 different instruments and combine styles. It's been used by Ars Electronica to complete an unfinished symphony by Gustav Mahler. Following the Bach Doodle in March, which harmonizes user melodies into Bach's style using the Coconet model, Magenta have now released the dataset of the 21.6 million harmonizations. The team have also developed GrooVAE for generating and controlling expressive drum performances; MiDiMe for personalising machine learning models and introduced a new Colab notebook for generating piano music with transformer. Meanwhile, Sony came up with DrumNet with aim of creating musically plausible drum patterns. Tero Parviainen’s Counterpoint studio released GANHarp, an experimental musical instrument based on AI-generated sounds, made with Magenta.js and the Magenta GANSynth model trained on acoustic instruments to generate continuously morphing waveform interpolations. Chris Donahue and Vibert Thio made the procedural music sequencer Neural Loops, Andrew Shaw came up with MusicAutoBot, using transformer to generate pop music. Yi Yu and Simon Canales generated melodies from lyrics using conditional LSTM-GAN. MIT Researchers translated proteins into music and back - you can hear the sounds via their Amino Acid Synthesizer app. Christian S. Perone experimented with turning gradient norms into sound during training.
Here's an overview of using neural networks for music generation that covers major projects from 2016 onwards. The Industry Observer deliberated whether AI-generated music is worth anything, the BBC picked out trends that may shape music in the next 20 years and Bob Sturm looked at copyright law and engineering praxis. Andrew Reed analysed what songs Phish would play during a live performance.
Counterpoint and YACHT made Bit Tripper, an interactive tool for exploring generative typography, while Robert Munro applied StyleGAN to images of Unicode characters to invent new ones and Shuai Yang adapted style transfer to fonts.
Google Creative Lab put together a PoseNet Sketchbook, looking at what you can do when combining movement and machine (you can check the experiment with Bill T. Jones). Joel Simon’s Artbreeder now includes more models than the earlier GANbreeder including portraits, albums and landscapes. Kory Mathewson’s talk generator comes up with slides based on a single topic suggestion. Stanislas Chaillou’s ArchiGAN is a generative stack for apartment building design. Nathan Glover and Rico Beti’s Selfie2Anime turns your photos into an anime character. Adobe Machine Intelligence Design wrote about how we are shaped by our creative tools.
Deeptrace Labs published a report detailing the available tools and current trends. It follows a continued deepfake prominence in the news: there's been a fraud case made by replicating a CEO's voice and spies are apparently using generated photos in LinkedIn requests. Earlier this summer, the artist-made Mark Zuckerberg deepfake raised controversy about whether Facebook should fact-check art, while the Dali Museum in Florida installed a deepfake Salvador Dali for visitors to take photos with. Zao, a Chinese deepfake face-swapping app faced backlash because of perceived threat to user privacy. Further ethical questions were raised by apps like DeepNude, which was taken offline shortly after its release because of potential harm. Plus, Grumpy Cat, now dead, will still live on through AI.
Eyeo have released the talk videos from the 2019 festival, including those by Adam Harvey, Mario Klingemann and Helena Sarin. Sonar+D uploaded Madeline Gannon's talk on robotics and art. Adversarial Fashion published their DEFCON 27 presentation on 'sartorial hacking to combat surveillance' featuring art projects and tips on designing your own. Sensilab now run podcasts on Creative AI, discussing anything from deepfakes to music AI.
Rebecca Fiebrink and Phoenix Perry made InteractML, an interactive machine learning framework for Unity3D. Following the experiment with Pinar & Viola, Alex Mordvintsev released Infinite Patterns as a tool to make your own art. MIT's GANpaint Studio lets you add, delete, and modify objects in photos. Ben Marriott made a tutorial on psychedelic morphing with GANbreeder.
Mariel Pettee and her team have developed Beyond Imitation, a set of configurable tools to generate novel sequences of choreography and tunable variations on input choreographic sequences. MIMIC Project from Goldsmiths, Durham and Sussex universities groups together various examples, projects and guides around musical machine learning and machine listening. Google Arts & Culture have a dedicated online section for Barbican's AI: More than Human exhibition, including their recent project with Es Devlin. Ars Electronica have put online their Out of the Box Festival and Cyberarts catalogues, both of which list plenty of AI works.
Reiichiro Nakano wrote up his Neural Painters project, a generative model for brushstrokes learned from a real non-differentiable and non-deterministic painting program. DeepMind released an improved SPIRAL for doodling and painting and also VQ-VAE-2, which generates high fidelity images with more diversity. Using a single image, Adobe researchers build dynamic images and Samsung creates talking heads. Stanford researchers can now edit talking head videos as if they were editing text. MIT's Speech2Face reconstructs an image of a person’s face from a short audio segment of speech. Google's VideoBERT predicts what will happen next in videos, SynVAE translates visual art into music and SVG-VAE generates new fonts. NVIDIA's FUNIT PetSwap allows you to turn your pet into another species and if you missed GauGAN earlier, it's still happy to turn your doodles into lifelike landscapes. Augustus Odena compiled a list of open problems about GANs.
Academic jobs:UC San Diego is looking for an Assistant Professor: Computational Artist / Designer, apply until 2nd December. National University of Singapore seeks a post-doc to work on deep learning approaches to models of musical and environmental audio. DXARTS at University of Washington is looking for an Assistant Professor in Data-Driven Arts Practice until 15th Nov. MARCS at Western Sydney University is looking for PhD students to work on a deep learning generative model for adventurous keyboard music. NYU Tisch ITP & IMA is looking for an Assistant Arts Professor, apply until 1st December. In Melbourne, the startup move37 is looking for a Research Scientist to create tools to augment human conceptual creativity.
😃 Things to do 😃
London: Trevor Paglen's new dataset-related work is on at The Barbican between until16 Feb; Heather Dewey-Hagborg's commission How do you see me? is on at The Photographers' Gallery until 14th Nov as part of its Data/Set/Match programme; The Serpentine Gallery hosts Jenna Sutela's I, Magma until 12th Jan. The Design Museum is showing a variety of AI-related projects in its Digital Category for Beazley Designs of the Year and lets you vote for your favourite. The Lumen Prize is exhibiting its Director's Showcase at The Cello Factory Gallery between 30 October and 2 November. Rob Laidlow's orchestral piece Alter, using and about AI, will premiere at the Barbican on 2nd November. In Margate, Turner Contemporary is showing Welcome Chorus, an interactive AI-based outdoor installation by Yuri Suzuki until Jan 2020.
Europe: The Ars Electronica Center reopened earlier this summer with the Understanding AI exhibition, showcasing how the technology works via a multitude of demos and artworks. There's also an exhibition on AI x Music there. The Unknown Ideal at Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art presents a survey of Zach Blas's practice around digital technologies and the cultures and politics behind them. Fondazione Prada in Milan is showing Kate Crawford and Trevor Paglen's Training Humans until 24th Feb. Last month, Berlin finally saw the opening of the Futurium museum, with works by Gene Kogan and Sofia Crespo.
Elsewhere: In the US, Refik Anadol's Machine Hallucination installation is at Artechouse in NYC and Cooper Hewitt’s Process Lab has an exhibition around facial recognition until 17th May. In Montreal, Anteism books is hosting Latent See, an open-studio research exhibit resulting from residencies concerning AR, AI and exploratory anomalies, while in South Korea Trevor Paglen exhibits Machine Visions at the Nam June Paik Art Center until 2nd February.
Thanks for getting this far. It has been a long one. Anything I missed? Drop me a line if you have any updates I should include or if you need any creative AI-related help.