What if you were told that your favourite painting was created by a machine? Can a computer produce an artistic masterpiece?
Computer scientist Simon Colton has created software called the Painting Fool, which he claims possesses creative talents. In this video, you can see some of its recent artwork, demonstrating a range of styles. One of its pieces uses visual attributes of the human body to produce a crowd of people, while in another example it uses a more impressionistic style. What first appears to be a straightforward painting of a hand reveals a hidden dimension when turned sideways. This shows the software’s ability to surprise its viewers with its creations.
The Painting Fool often seeks inspiration online by running web searches or trawling social networking sites. This approach allows it to choose topics that are relevant to humans. According to Colton, some of its paintings of fuzzy landscapes demonstrate that it has a rudimentary imagination.
For more on the Painting Fool, check out a gallery of its recent paintings or read our full feature: Art-ificial: The virtual virtuosos redefining creativity.
Sandrine Ceurstemont, New Scientist
There is a video of the Painting Fool in action