Ultra-Modern Art: World's First Software-Generated Art Competition Produces Striking Results

Yesterday we talked about how robots are coming for your menial-labor jobs.  But what about artistry?  Surely, even with robot poets, robot "dreams", and robot literary aids, there's no way that a computer could become autonomous enough to actually paint something that we'd recognize, right?

Wrong, puny human.  They can out-art us, too.

Could a robo-Banksy be tagging the cities of the future?
Or will they be more refined, such as a Van Gogh-bot?
(Artwork by Banksy.  Image courtesy businessinsider.com.)

According to The Pipeteer, the world's first robot art competition has produced some aesthetically amazing results.  Created by mechanical engineer Dr. Andrew Conru as a means of recognizing robot artisans worldwide, the contest was open to submissions created either by a computer and software alone, or a 'bot with a bit of human help.

As the RobotArt website explains, the competition combined "technology and art...to encourage the advancement of both together. Fundamental to the competition is the belief that creativity and expression are emerging in unexpected ways from our relationship with technology."  Fifteen teams from seven countries submitted seventy different piece of art for the inaugural competition.

A detailed set of rules was put in place, with the end goal being a painting or drawing that expressed the "intrinsically human" values inherent to the skills required to complete such art forms.  The winners were judged both by the public (via facebook, accounting for 40% of the overall score) as well as professional art critics (who judged on aesthetics, ability, and technical contribution, adding up to the remaining 60% of the score.)  

The winners' work appears below, with first prize for "Software Generated" art earning $30,000, and first prize for "Manual (Tele-Robotically) Generated" art earning $10,000.  Not a bad payday for an artist of any ilk!

First place in Software Generated art is TAIDA,
from the National Taiwan University.
(Image courtesy pipetteer.com.)

Here's how it happened...

Second place went to "CloudPainter" from George Washington University, USA.

And third place went to NoRAA – Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Italy.

Will the next renaissance be computerized?
(Image courtesy thepipetteer.com.)

So there you have it.  No avenue of toil or creativity is safe from the robot usurpers.  Well, at least autotune doesn't sound like opera...yet.

The fourth-place winner, created by "e-David"
of Konstanz University, Germany.
Can YOU take a pen and try to do this?
(Image courtesy thepipetteer.com.)

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