Episode 7: AI as Artist's Assistant

AI as Artist’s Assistant

Guest: Dr. Maria Klawe, President of Harvey Mudd College

As humans evolved, we developed forms of expression that transcend the limits of language.  We can express ourselves in drawing and painting and music and dance.  And we have done so at least since humans painted images of large animals on the Lascaux cave walls and ceilings – over 17,000 years ago.  

Humans are more observant, more expressive, and more clear thinking, the more they draw. 

Computer scientists and practitioners now use AI to create drawings and paintings – and to restore missing parts of old paintings.  But wait: is it a painting if AI created it or collaborated in its making?  To decide for yourself, watch the online video entitled The Next Rembrandt.  

And now consider this: in late June 2021, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam announced the completion of a project in which museum staff used AI to re-create and restore large parts of Rembrandt’s painting The Night Watch.  Those parts were cut off to fit the original painting into a venue in the Eighteenth Century, removing entire figures.  With the missing parts temporarily restored, we can see what Rembrandt’s original looked like.  

In this episode of Mind the Gap we will be talking with the President of Harvey Mudd College, Dr. Maria Klawe, who has had a distinguished career as a theoretical computer scientist, scholar, and college administrator.  Dr. Klawe is also a gifted painter -- a watercolorist.  And unlike most of us, she did not stop drawing as a child, and has been painting for longer than she has been a computer scientist.

Recorded: 2021-07-08