Can the outputs of AI systems qualify as artworks?
Anna Linne (2021-12)

III. AI Art Intentionality

To show that intentionality does matter in art, philosopher Arthur Danto (1988) provides a thought experiment of identical red squares in an art exhibit. He argues that depending on the intentions behind these identical red squares, each red square may or may not be an artwork. One of them is something from the workshop of Giorgione. Another is a mere thing - a red square never meant to be an artwork. We cannot assert that AI art contains concepts conveyed by its creator as intentionality. Thus, to judge AI art, we need to rely on the so-called expressive stance. (A. Linson 2016; Dennett 1987; Danto 1988) The expressive stance says that the intentionality of an artwork comes from the interpretation of the artwork as an expression and not from a notion of the artwork's intrinsic intentionality as conveyed by its creator.

The designers of an AI system can provide intentionality for some AI art, e.g., an image of the dog painted in Kandinsky's style. Other times, AI art's intentionality has to be interpreted. Some AI art cannot be appreciated and is mere nonsense until intentionality is interpreted by human artists or art critics. Our analysis in the last section indicates that AI systems merely render images anticipated by designers, even if the designers cannot predict the presentations of the images. Thus, we can agree with Danto and others that AI art should be understood as works by human artists, mediated by machines, and not by machines as artists. But in addition to that, with the need for human artists to identify AI art's intentionality for AI art to be appreciated, such AI art should be further viewed as requiring ingenuity from human artists. Thus, while the production of traditional art relies on the genius of artists, the identification of some AI art as artworks relies on the taste of artists.

License: Creative Commons License, Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY-4.0)

SiSU Spine (object numbering & object search) 2022