Artificial neural networks: New art and transformation of the problem of authorship

Eka­te­ri­na N. Medvede­va
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

DOI: 10.5840/dspl20192115


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