AI and Algorithmic Art - Could computer take over human creativity?

Cheuk Ting Ho

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AI and Algorithmic Art

Could computer take over human creativity?

Cheuk Ting Ho




Data Scientist at Pace


Loves pasta

not so much for pizza

Support open source and community diversity

Base in London UK


1960s - Plotter Art

With a program controlling a pen or cutter or laser to draw vector graphics in a 'turtle' manner

1960s - Plotter Art

Demonstrate by Daniele Procida at PyCon NA 

You can build one with Raspberry Pi and simple stationaries and materials that almost cost nothing

It could plot any vectorised image 


1980s - Fractal Art

never-ending pattern


self-similar across different scales


repeating a simple process in feedback loops


generated by recursion

1980s - Fractal Art

1980s - Fractal Art

1990s - Screensavers

How many of them do you remember?

1990s - Screensavers

​Originally designed to prevent burn-in of the CRT monitors


Instead of just blanking the screen with black or random colours, some designed to make it art!


Screensavers are usually designed and coded using a variety of programming languages as well as graphics interfaces

1990s - After Dark

A software which provide varies screensavers ranging form flying toasters to visual expressions of mathematics equations

1990s - Windows

How many of these window 3.1 to window 95 screensavers that you remember?

2010s - AI & GAN

GAN - generative adversarial network:

Originally proposed by Jürgen Schmidhuber in 1990, was popularised by  Ian Goodfellow et al. in 2014

Consists of 2 neural networks, one generate the output (Generator) while the other 'predict' (Discriminator)

Similar to Actor-Critic approach in reinforcement learning, imagine the 2 networks play chess with each other

2010s - AI & GAN

Magenta  by Google

"An open source research project exploring the role of machine learning as a tool in the creative process."


One of the most interesting one is composition of music: https://magenta.tensorflow.org/performance-rnn

Another one that complete the sketch for you:


2010s - AI & GAN

AttnGAN - Generate picture form sentences

2010s - AI & GAN

Auto captioning - https://www.captionbot.ai/

Then I saw this at Open Code at ZKM


Start unleash your creativity

and go hacking