July 27, 2020

Is AI good or bad?

Kate Steenhauer | Kate Steenhauer, 41 | Dr. Andrew Starkey, 51 | Jack Caven , 23

Audio-visual productionIs AI good or bad?, 2020

Painting Music uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create music from live-painted drawings. The software is based on the type of learning used by the human brain. The production explores thoughts and fears over the application and impact of AI centred around the narrative Is AI good or bad?. The production aim is not to create a process that always results in harmonious music and melodies, but that the AI can make ‘mistakes’. Harmonious notes may be considered uninteresting by some people but beautiful to others. Similarly, conflict transpires in the visual component through the subject and subsequent transformation of each drawing. The first scene considers a possible fusion of two communities through a combination of spoken word, music and by pouring water in a circular motion across a drawing (depicting figures in various emotional mindsets amongst big binary shapes representing AI). The closing scene shows a woman looking upwards with outstretched hands (ambiguously either inviting or holding back an unseen ‘force’) spiralling into nothing. The exploration of this question is thus at the heart of this production aiming to tap into the public’s fear or excitement of AI and the change that this will bring to all facets of society.