Art for Non-Artists
Last semester, one of my professors mentioned Google’s Deep Dream within a list of computer programs that use artificial intelligence to do normal human activities — like playing chess, Go, or Atari Breakout — better than any human can. It’s been decades since a world-class chess player first lost to a computer, so I’m not surprised by computers that can predict winning moves based on the rules of a game. But Deep Dream stood out from the list. Instead of winning games, or doing anything else that I’d expect from a computer, it creates art.
One day in my middle school art class, everyone was handed a box of markers and the printout of a circle divided into six segments. We were told to color the segments carefully in order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. The rainbow we could linearly recite since kindergarten suddenly bent into an infinite loop. And so we learned the color wheel.