Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Hover Camera. Death of art?

[Thanks to Bert.] OK, it's happening: the last bit of the work the photographer had to do is being taken out of the process. Is it the end of photo art? Hover Camera.
[Note: I've nothing against the HC, it seems like fun.]

I hate to come around to that thought, but it does appear that there is something to the idea that the easier something is to do, like photography, the more the art is lost. And of course Hover Camera, if and when it has enough processing power, can easily apply the software we have which makes digital watercolors or other kinds of art from photos. And it's hard to distinguish from human-made art. So... I dunno. What about in twenty years, will there be any clear difference which is meaningful to more than the tiniest minority, between robot art and human art?

Look at that picture below. I made it last year. It is very good, isn't it?

... I got praise for it, but the thing is: it was made on my iPad from a photo, by software in seconds, and almost wholly automatically, with me only having selected a preset.
Granted, I had to experiment a bit before I found a good preset for the photo. But it's still early days yet, it'll only get better, fast.
And if an iPad can make as good art in 20 seconds as I can in two hours, why would I even bother?

Sure... personal satisfaction... "it was me who did it, not a machine", etc.
But it's been many years since I played chess. I don't feel any good point to it now that an iPhone can beat me in five moves.

An irony is that when I was a teen in the late seventies, I phoned into a big national radio show for youth ("P4 on P1") and made a comment which they put on the air:
"I don't understand why people are so afraid of computers. Have you ever seen a computer make art?" 

I know well that a computer is not alive and has to be programmed by humans to do anything. But still... I just don't know.


David Evans said...

Why are you picking out Hover Camera? It will only do what you program or command it to do. At present it clearly doesn't have the software you are talking about, while some conventional cameras already do. To me it looks like a beautiful toy.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

No, I've nothing against HoverCamera in itself. It's just part of the tech trend.

Also the trend has many upsides which I enjoy.

I guess I was just, like sometimes, sharing thoughts which I'm not sure about but which I couldn't dismiss or disprove, on subjects which seem important.

And doing that I often get great contributions from the readers here, helping me along.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Does anybody have any idea how the "I'm not a robot" button works? How does it distinguish?

Russ said...

Because it takes a robot to know a robot. Sorry, I just couldn't resist...

Dave Nielsen said...

I don't feel any good point to it now that an iPhone can beat me in five moves.

So you wouldn't want to live in The Culture.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Hah. Okay, good point Dave.

I guess, I hope, for it will probably happen, that the good points of the Culture, big and numerous, would outweigh the point that humans would be completely outclassed by Minds.

Also it may make a difference that the Minds and drones are sentient beings and rather entertaining, rather than being mere machines.

And, admittedly it's me being an idealist, I'm hoping that we have more to live for than beating others in competitions. I admit this seems to oppose the point of this post, but when writing that I was allowing myself to be rather ego-minded, to aim for some catharsis.