The Zombification of Art History
How AI resurrects dead masters, and perpetuates historical biases
AbstractIn the past few years deep-learning AI neural networks have achieved major milestones in artistic image analysis and generation, producing what some refer to as ‘art.’ We reflect critically on some of the artistic shortcomings of a few projects that occupied the spotlight in recent years. We introduce the term ‘Zombie Art’ to describe the generation of new images of dead masters, as well as ‘The AI Reproducibility Test.’ We designate the problems inherent in AI and in its application to art history. In conclusion, we propose new directions for both AI-generated art and art history, in the light of these new powerful AI technologies of artistic image analysis and generation.
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