A robot art critic - complete with a bowler hat and scarf - is moseying around galleries of the Musée du quai Branly in Paris.
Not all robots are made for heavy lifting. Some are created solely for the purpose of criticizing art. And, according to folks at Alphr, a robot developed to do just that is actually quite good at doing so.
A video provided by Business Insider reveals a robot art critic – complete with a bowler hat and scarf – moseying around galleries of the Musée du quai Branly in Paris. Named Berenson, after the American art critic Bernard Berenson, the bot forms its own opinions about what’s in taste and what’s not.
The fashionable bot was created by robotics engineer Philippe Gaussier and anthropologist Denis Vidal.
Berenson approaches works of art in the museum and either smiles or frowns to display its assessment of the exhibit. A decision is primarily made by watching other people in the exhibition and analyzing their facial expressions.
These reactions are then sorted into positive and negative, and fed into a neural network simulated named Prométhé.
The network allows Berenson to pick up on various visual stimuli and determine an impression of what makes a “positive” or “negative” object. As you might assume, a positive object is rewarded with a smile. If it is determined to be negative, the robot will lean toward the object, frown, then move away.
Berenson the art critic then moves on to evaluate the skill and beauty of other works.
Many are concerned that some day, their jobs might be taken by heavy-lifting robots that never need a wink of sleep. Should art critics be concerned about their jobs?
In all likelihood, no. The robot is basically regurgitating the public’s opinion, not truly assessing the value of a painting based on the skill of the strokes or the magnificence captured on canvas.
What is most exciting about the development is that it may represent an early step toward an advanced form of AI capable of thinking artistically.
You can watch the video provided by Business Insider here.
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