AI Art Docents
Art That Actually Speaks To You
By: Lou Liu – Tech and Finance
Imagine a world where you can enter a gallery, museum, or even someone’s home—presumably without breaking in—and the (questionable) original art on the walls or the sculptures on pedestals begin to speak to you.
Yes, dear readers, this is what may be in store for us in the not-too-distant future. Art dealer and food-cart entrepreneur Francois Vagely will soon be premiering his newest invention that will revolutionize art-viewing, even for those who haven’t the slightest interest.
Say goodbye to human docents and those clumsy headphones and “canned” recordings that drone on about how the artist outdid himself when he decided to use his own saliva and curb-side dirt to paint with, or some such boring detail. Mr. Vagely’s new art description system will use the latest Artificial Technology (AI) to detect and scan the viewer(s) or anyone standing within a certain distance of an artwork.
Mr. Vagely’s lawyers are already in talks with various vendors who are interested in this new technology. “Just think of how helpful this technology could be when used for even everyday purposes. For example, installed at men’s room urinals?” he was quoted as saying. “The AI-assisted urinal would remind you to zip up the fly of your pants before going back out into an important business meeting or dinner with your future in-laws. Just think of all the embarrassing situations it could help you avoid!”
In Art, intentions are not enough. ~ Picasso
Although still in the initial test stages, the new technology shows promise. When we asked if there were any early signs of program issues, one of the techies on the project spoke to us under condition of anonymity. “There are a few minor bugs to work out but we feel confident that we will overcome them and have our product out in time for next year’s Venice Biennial.” When asked about what sort of “bugs” they were working on, the technician did not elaborate.
However, when we returned to the company’s offices during after-hours, we did get a clue from a member of the cleaning staff—let us call her “Miss G.” She mentioned that the experimental AI Art Docent was quite loquacious and volunteered all manner of unsolicited comments, such as, “Hey toots, I like the tight blouse.” And, “Mister, you’re standing too close, and your breath stinks.” Then there was the time it told a beta-tester, “You have been standing here too long. You either don’t get what I’m about or you actually like this piece of crap?”
So, as the tech claimed, these are all minor issues that the production team feels very confident they will soon overcome. I don’t know about you folks, but I can’t wait until this new technology hits the galleries and museums. It will be interesting to watch the looks on visitor’s faces when the art in front of them addresses them directly. What fun—more fun than the art!
Would you like fries with that painting?
~ Overheard at a recent Biennial
In the meantime, Mr. Vagely is also looking into how this AI program could be used to help food-cart vendors cover the city in a more efficient manner, while at the same time bring in more profits. With a twinkle in his eye, the sly entrepreneur said, “Just imagine. Food carts that sell art!”