xCoAx 2020 8th Conference on Computation, Communication, Aesthetics & X 8–10 July, Graz online

Paper Session 4

Keywords: AI Ethics, Artificial Intelligence, Combinatorial Inventiveness, Computational Design, Creativity, Design Principles, Generative Art, Sociotechnical Systems.

Should Human Artists Fear AI? A Report on the Perception of Creative AI

Caterina Moruzzi

The question of whether a machine can be creative has been at the center of many scholarly debates. But what does the public think about the possibility for AI to gain a place alongside human artists? This paper presents the results of a survey conducted at the University of Nottingham which investigated the public reception of the application of Artificial Intelligence to the creative sector. The study examined the attitudes and beliefs of participants to the prospect of a future scenario where machines create art alongside and in collaboration with humans. The responses, collected both through an online questionnaire and a focus group, reveal that participants do not exclude the possibility that in the medium-term AI may earn the attribute ‘creative’. Still, this does not mean that this scenario is welcomed.

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Deriving Sense: Cognitive Aspects of Artefactual Creativity

Dejan Grba

This paper explores the cognitive aspects of artefactual creativity in new media art. Starting with a concept of combinatorial inventiveness which is central to artefactual creativity, we outline its manifestations in the arts and culture, leading to contemporary applications of the emerging technologies for transforming the existing ideas, relations and data into new artworks. In view of the diverse art production in this domain, we focus on generative methodologies, and discuss the poetic features of the exemplar art projects created primarily by processing the material from cinema, television and the Internet. These artworks blend procedural thinking with bricolage, leverage complex technical infrastructures, foster curiosity and encourage vigilance in our critical appreciation of the arts, technology, culture, society, and human nature. In closing of each section, we outline the theoretical considerations that can be abstracted from the examples, and elaborate on them in the concluding section in which we examine the artists’ motives and circumstances of analogizing, generating ideas and meaning making in relation with the cognitive implications of artefactual creativity.

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A Sketch of Some Principles for Good Design in The Age Of Smart Automation

Rodrigo Hernández-Ramírez

Over the last decades, technological advancements have allowed automation to become “smart” and thus capable of replacing human manual control, planning, and problem-solving in a growing number of activities. This cognitive outsourcing has improved people’s lives in several ways, but it has also brought a host of new problems such as loss of privacy and human liberties, deskilling, new forms of exploitation, harassment, and increased inequalities. This paper begins with the assumption that these issues are the consequence of poor design, and therefore asks what good design in the age of smart automation is. It analyses the general inherent complexities of automation and the role that User-Centered Design, arguably the contemporary dominant paradigm in design practices, could play in taming these complexities. It does so to provide a rough sketch of principles that a humanist and ethically-minded design approach should follow to ensure our technologies meet the moral, political, and social needs of people in the present and near future.

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Ever-changing Flags: Trend-driven Symbols of Identity

João M. Cunha, Pedro Martins, Hugo Gonçalo Oliveira, Penousal Machado

One of the symbols of a nation is its flag, which plays an important role in building and maintaining a sense of identity. Changes that occur in a country throughout history are often reflected on the design of its flag, whose elements bear meaning and are part of the country’s culture. In this paper, we explore the possibility of using a flag to also represent changes that occur in shorter timeframes. We present a system that applies visual transformations to the flag of a country, based on trending topics inferred from news sources. The impact of generated flags is assessed using a user-study, focused on perception and interpretation. The developed system has the potential to be exploited for multiple purposes – e.g. event visualization – and can be used to make the viewer question the limits of a nation’s identity.

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