Friday, December 25, 2009

Do Computers Understand Art?

ScienceDaily (Dec. 25, 2009) — A team of researchers has shown that some mathematical algorithms provide clues about the artistic style of a painting. The composition of colours or certain aesthetic measurements can already be quantified by a computer, but machines are still far from being able to interpret art in the way that people do.

How does one place an artwork in a particular artistic period?

The researchers have shown that certain artificial vision algorithms mean a computer can be programmed to "understand" an image and differentiate between artistic styles based on low-level pictorial information. Human classification strategies, however, include medium and high-level concepts.

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  1. Fascinating topic and interesting article even with its mention of George D. Birkhoff. I must admit that I have a lot of problems with Birkoff's equation for aesthetics. The problem lies in thinking that there is only one kind of aesthetics. The dichotomy concerning the aesthetics of math and art illustrate this well. Paul Dirac says it quite well, "In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it’s the exact opposite. " Birkoff approaches art with a mathematical aesthetic and for this he fails to get it right. Thanks for sharing the article!

  2. That's very interesting, I hadn't even noticed that perspective! Some of the best ideas and theories aren't expressed as good as they have the potential to be, and lean towards one expression over another, as you mentioned with Birkoff's singularly mathematical approach. Comparing math and art is particularly interesting, since they seem to contrast so much.
    Thank you for reading, and thank you for you comment!