Google Magenta research project will create an AI artist

Google DeepDream didn't just create a bunch of trippy, fascinating, slightly schizophrenic images — it also inspired an entirely new research project within Google, and it's called Google Magenta. Starting the first of June, a small team of Google researchers will use the company's TensorFlow AI platform to develop an AI artist capable of creating its own visual art. The resulting artwork could eventually be made public through an app where anyone can browse creations as imagined by machines.

Google Magenta was recently announced by researcher Douglas Eck, one of the individuals taking part in the program. Speaking at the music and tech festival Moogfest, Eck said that DeepDream directly inspired Magenta, which will also apparently be used to create some music, though details on that are vague.

If we're lucky and the artwork AI goes as planned, the Google researchers may get a showcase app in the pipeline through which we will get to hear and see the AI's creations. In its present state, Google Magenta has about half a dozen researchers onboard, though others will be invited to help develop these so-called creative machines.

In addition to potentially providing humanity with a new form of artwork to enjoy, this research project could help tackle another aspect of artificial intelligence that is lacking — creativity, or better stated, the ability for an AI to think creativity. Possessing such capabilities could help AIs with problem solving, and will be another step toward making them more like humans.

In a statement on his Google Research page, Eck says:

I'm a research scientist working on the Magenta project, an effort to generate music, video, images and text using machine intelligence ... The question Magenta asks is, "Can machines make music and art? If so, how? If not, why not?" The goal if Magenta is to produce open-source tools and models that help creative people be even more creative. I'm primarily looking at how to use so-called "generative" machine learning models to create engaging media. Additionally, I'm working on how to bring other aspects of the creative process into play. For example, art and music is not just about generating new pieces. It's also about drawing one's attention, being surprising, telling an interesting story, knowing what's interesting in a scene, and so on.

VIA: Popular Science