Anyone remember the early days of Microsoft Paint? It was a pretty rudimentary computer-aided design— basically just drawing pixel-by-pixel. For a lot of us, though, it was the first time we saw technology and art meet. Because at first glance, it’s an awkward match: a computer’s hard-edged world of 1s and 0s is a different place than the emotional landscape of art and creativity. But that’s all changing, of course: the last century has seen an explosion of electronically-assisted creation. We won’t bore you with basic tales of digital animation and electronic music here. So, what’s going on right now, behind the scenes in the middle of the digital transformation?
To see the creative creep of technology, consider this: the platforms through which people consume art have been totally revolutionized. Music? Spotify, SoundCloud, and Apple Music rule this world (sorry Tidal, you’re not included.) It’s a rarity that people download digital albums, and only hipsters buy physical music. Film? We have on-demand streaming services like Netflix— movie rental places are deserted. Visual art? It’s as viral as the newest Instagram hashtag. Even our taste is molded by AI: recommendation algorithms quietly work to surprise and please us with new content we’re sure to enjoy. Surely you’ve been exposed to the wonders of YouTube autoplay or Spotify Discover, for example. By default, these computers use big data to rival the advice of even our closest, most in-the-know friends.
Human Creativity Amplified
In the spirit of creativity and innovation, it makes perfect sense that the art community is staying shoulder-to-shoulder with cutting-edge technology. Besides changing the distribution of our creative endeavors, a whole digital ecosystem has sprung up to support the creative scene. Bitcoin payment is making the global art market safer and more efficient, as well as enabling people to increase their assets virtually. Blockchain encryption is letting exclusive music scenes thrive in places like Berlin and Moscow, and could be key in how we share music in the future. As the internet of things continues to evolve and supercomputers make gains in creative thought, there’s no telling what other radical changes will sprout up.
Blank Canvas, Blank Collar
Maybe you heard that now AI can make pretty convincing Van Goghs and Vermeers. But artists are not going to be replaced by automation: Where machines and creatives collide, there is plenty of room for collaboration. There’s a whole host of tech startups, universities, and individuals exploring technology’s artistic side. The fusion of bots and brushes means truly great things: to make the most of it, tomorrow’s blank collar workforce will need to tap into human skills like creativity. We’ll need to get in touch with our poetic side. Developing your natural sense of beauty and emotion will be a game-changer in the artistic places that are too human for computers to reach. Also, you should probably get into glitch art.
Technology’s getting creative. Our algorithm-designed music taste is a click away, our cultural scenes are adapting blockchain, and AI is re-painting our masterpieces. What does the collision of computers and art mean for tomorrow’s innovators?
Art, AI, future of work, blank collar, creativity, blockchain, digital, automation
Bitcoins for brushstrokes? In a world where AI can make masterpieces, what does cutting-edge technology mean for the creative industry?