Robot head

(Credit: Getty/sarah5)

Traditional art has an element of illusionism to it. This has long been commented on, and is responsible for the prevalent thought (at least among the general public) that the more realistic the artwork, the more a man-made creation looks like a nature-made one, the better it must be. The ancient praised the lifelike naturalism of painters, with Pliny relating the famous story of a duel between two artists, one of whom was able to fool a bird into swooping in to peck at his painted grapes, whereas the other was able to fool the first artist, tricking him into trying to pull aside a curtain that was, in fact, his painting of a curtain. Fooling a human trumps fooling an animal, and the ability to inspire awe, wonder, the “how-did-they-do-that” expression, has long been the goal of most traditional art. Think of a tale of Pygmalion, in which an ivory sculpture of a naked woman was so realistic, and its sculptor’s love for it so strong, that it actually came to life.

And so it is with robots, particularly the latest generation of Artificial Intelligence, which strives for a human-like appearance, yes, but also an ability …read more

Source:: Salon – Innovation

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