National Research Tomsk State University
Artificial neural networks: New art and transformation of the problem of authorship
Abstract. This article aims to analyze the transformations of the problem of authorship and a semantic load of art works created through artificial neural networks (ANN) in context of the philosophical tradition. Nowadays, the sale of paintings created by the ANN at art auctions is not a single case. This situation actualizes, on the one side, the issue of a possible institutional recognition of works created by non-humans as art objects, and, on the other – the issue of establishing authorship and a semantic load of such works. The article discusses the conditions for the legitimacy of attributing the ANN practices to art, and analyzes the historical transformation of the problems of authorship and perception of the text (as a sign system) in philosophy. The analysis found out that the research focus had changed during the twentieth century – from the author’s totalitarian figure to the problems of language and its internal struc-tures, and then to the reader as a subject entitled with functions of “generating meanings”. An ANN is a technical embodiment of the poststructuralist thesis maintaining “the author’s death”. This technology allows us to observe unprecedented contexts of text creation without the subject, which seems a priori meaningless. The paradox in perceptions of such texts is that the perceiver, unaware of their creation by AI, “finds out” meanings in them anyway. The author assumes that the ANN works exhibited and sold in the status of art objects are recognized as art objects. She also maintains a thesis of multiple authorship as a possible solution to the authorship issue and suggests considering the semantic loading of ANN works in context of the poststructuralist approach to the author’s problem and the transition of the function of meaning generation from the author to the perceiving subject.
Keywords: artificial neural networks, problem of authorship, modern art, multiple authorship, “the death of the author”, poststructuralism
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