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AI-Driven Curation: Are We Sacrificing Diversity In Art And Design?

Written by: Molly-Anna MaQuirl | Posted: 17-01-2024

AI-Driven Curation: Are We Sacrificing Diversity In Art And Design?

This is an AI-generated image created with Midjourney by Molly-Anna MaQuirl

Since the birth of ChatGPT in 2021, AI-based tools have been gaining popularity. From copywriting to music, it has ushered a dramatic change in our lives.

It has been seeing movements within the art community as well, especially in its role in curation.

However, in recent AI news, there have been concerns as to how big of a role we are giving AI when it comes to curation. There are questions about whether or not relying on AI-driven methods ruins the diversity in art and design.

One might argue that despite the advancements we've seen in tasks such as scheduling and communication, AI in art and design still has a long way to go. Others say that complex or abstract pursuits, such as curating artistic collections, still need human intervention.

The big question is: Does relying on artificial intelligence to decide what to show in your galleries and exhibitions sacrifice the diversity that art should be striving to represent?

How AI Has Changed Art Curation

So, how is AI impacting art design and culture? It can be used to sort works by genre or theme, making it easier to differentiate potential exhibits across the globe. Curators can also use sentiment analysis to know which types of artwork resonate with different emotional responses toward its viewers.

Most importantly, few people spare the time to visit art galleries and museums to appreciate art. Most of us nowadays consume art digitally. This means curators are relying on AI-driven methods as they can be translated and easily feature their creative works online.

For example, the selection of personalized images for a certain set of audiences based on their browsing data or using algorithmic models such as GANs (Generative Adversarial Networks) for generating artwork entirely from scratch. It's not a surprise that stakeholders within the art community are very focused on using AI as an essential tool for online promotion.

Challenges with Diversity and Representation

AI-driven curation makes it so much easier for art curators, gallery owners, and creators to do their jobs. This revolutionary approach is undoubtedly helpful; however, it is very important to understand that there are still drawbacks.

Blind Algorithms Cannot Comprehend Diversity

We need to realize that AI and machine learning algorithms still have flaws. Understanding the nuances, especially with diversity, is still not 100%. This is because despite having a depth of knowledge when it comes to art and its history, discerning between genuine or not is questionable.

For the sake of marketability and trends, artistic impressions, more often than not, get taken for granted.

Algorithms are not capable of understanding micro details such as context, emotion, or history that make an art diverse. We can call it a bias, as AI favors trends above representation. It reduces our ability to explore a wide range of art forms from different cultural identities across the globe.

Even with human intervention, adding precise criteria provided by creators, AI is still unable to capture cultural cues. It's just analyzing the surface instead of understanding the essence beyond the colors or the brief itself.

Let it be known that AI has greatly improved over the last few years. From curation to AI-designing, advanced algorithms are now being used to immerse into a deeper level of art.

The human level of art appreciation is complex; it includes emotions and diversification. But sooner or later, machines will learn how to navigate it.

The Parable Of “Too Much Control”

We just touched the surface of AI's effect on art and the potential risk of limiting meaningful contributions from lesser-known demographics. But there's a bigger potential risk: what if we give our technology absolute control over our decisions?

It’s a big if, and we know that there are ways to ensure balance and prevent biases – but giving it too much control is very risky.

When algorithms are fixed, they can end up being too strict or too broad in terms of relevancy. A flexibility issue can cause major problems since it limits the ability to curate diverse content.

To give you more understanding, diversity refers to a broad range of styles, cultural perspectives, and voices. Yes, voice. Because an artistic impression is a language that resonates through creativity, if these machine learning computers or algorithms are fixated into a single throughput, curators and artists cannot guarantee that diverse artworks are selected.

So, without the freedom to adjust the algorithm’s parameters, many great creations may be left behind.

Art Curation Metrics

AI-driven curation increasingly relies on metrics prioritizing marketability and popularity more than abstract notions of quality.

An algorithm’s understanding of what artwork should be featured tends to lean heavily in favor of those that can generate likes faster or potentially result in higher engagements—which, as a consequence, negates the basis from which artistic decision-making was built: drawing inspiration from our own human experience.

These issues aren't exclusive to AI either; humans, too, create their own 'bubbles,' where they only pick out art pieces that conform to their specific tastes without paying due attention to works outside them.

Yet, with algorithms embedded into online registration forms for panels, exhibitions, or even publications, this bias becomes further accentuated because machines aren’t able to measure something as complex as art appreciation accurately.

For example, rather than art being appreciated for its aesthetic or for the story it intends to tell through a multisensory experience, curation revolves around whether or not it can ‘sell’ – judging artwork solely on its perceived commercial viability.

This shift in perspective runs the risk of treating art like a commodity — one that should be judged and valued based solely on its marketability rather than how well it captures the multitudes of human experiences.

Essentially, this means design values are determined more by market demands than has been traditionally done.

Technology Should Complement Rather Than Replace Artistic Sensibilities 

At the end of the day, it doesn't take away from the importance of using technology to streamline long-winded parts of producing an exhibition or publication. Still, it does raise questions about whether unnaturally favoring certain elements devalues other vital components, such as diversity in artwork.

Instead of going completely down the route of AI-driven curation, a more balanced approach is needed that includes human input at every stage—from briefing right through to selection.

Not only does such an arrangement honor the artist’s creativity, but it also ensures that decisions remain consistent with our innate understanding of art rather than being entirely dictated by limited metrics employed by machines. That way, we can enjoy the benefits of utilizing both technology and creative intuition in order to ensure a truly diverse set of works when it comes time to showcase exhibitions or publications for all audiences.

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AI-Driven Curation: Are We Sacrificing Diversity In Art And Design?

Written by: Molly-Anna MaQuirl | Posted: 17-01-2024

AI-Driven Curation: Are We Sacrificing Diversity In Art And Design?

This is an AI-generated image created with Midjourney by Molly-Anna MaQuirl

Since the birth of ChatGPT in 2021, AI-based tools have been gaining popularity. From copywriting to music, it has ushered a dramatic change in our lives.

It has been seeing movements within the art community as well, especially in its role in curation.

However, in recent AI news, there have been concerns as to how big of a role we are giving AI when it comes to curation. There are questions about whether or not relying on AI-driven methods ruins the diversity in art and design.

One might argue that despite the advancements we've seen in tasks such as scheduling and communication, AI in art and design still has a long way to go. Others say that complex or abstract pursuits, such as curating artistic collections, still need human intervention.

The big question is: Does relying on artificial intelligence to decide what to show in your galleries and exhibitions sacrifice the diversity that art should be striving to represent?

How AI Has Changed Art Curation

So, how is AI impacting art design and culture? It can be used to sort works by genre or theme, making it easier to differentiate potential exhibits across the globe. Curators can also use sentiment analysis to know which types of artwork resonate with different emotional responses toward its viewers.

Most importantly, few people spare the time to visit art galleries and museums to appreciate art. Most of us nowadays consume art digitally. This means curators are relying on AI-driven methods as they can be translated and easily feature their creative works online.

For example, the selection of personalized images for a certain set of audiences based on their browsing data or using algorithmic models such as GANs (Generative Adversarial Networks) for generating artwork entirely from scratch. It's not a surprise that stakeholders within the art community are very focused on using AI as an essential tool for online promotion.

Challenges with Diversity and Representation

AI-driven curation makes it so much easier for art curators, gallery owners, and creators to do their jobs. This revolutionary approach is undoubtedly helpful; however, it is very important to understand that there are still drawbacks.

Blind Algorithms Cannot Comprehend Diversity

We need to realize that AI and machine learning algorithms still have flaws. Understanding the nuances, especially with diversity, is still not 100%. This is because despite having a depth of knowledge when it comes to art and its history, discerning between genuine or not is questionable.

For the sake of marketability and trends, artistic impressions, more often than not, get taken for granted.

Algorithms are not capable of understanding micro details such as context, emotion, or history that make an art diverse. We can call it a bias, as AI favors trends above representation. It reduces our ability to explore a wide range of art forms from different cultural identities across the globe.

Even with human intervention, adding precise criteria provided by creators, AI is still unable to capture cultural cues. It's just analyzing the surface instead of understanding the essence beyond the colors or the brief itself.

Let it be known that AI has greatly improved over the last few years. From curation to AI-designing, advanced algorithms are now being used to immerse into a deeper level of art.

The human level of art appreciation is complex; it includes emotions and diversification. But sooner or later, machines will learn how to navigate it.

The Parable Of “Too Much Control”

We just touched the surface of AI's effect on art and the potential risk of limiting meaningful contributions from lesser-known demographics. But there's a bigger potential risk: what if we give our technology absolute control over our decisions?

It’s a big if, and we know that there are ways to ensure balance and prevent biases – but giving it too much control is very risky.

When algorithms are fixed, they can end up being too strict or too broad in terms of relevancy. A flexibility issue can cause major problems since it limits the ability to curate diverse content.

To give you more understanding, diversity refers to a broad range of styles, cultural perspectives, and voices. Yes, voice. Because an artistic impression is a language that resonates through creativity, if these machine learning computers or algorithms are fixated into a single throughput, curators and artists cannot guarantee that diverse artworks are selected.

So, without the freedom to adjust the algorithm’s parameters, many great creations may be left behind.

Art Curation Metrics

AI-driven curation increasingly relies on metrics prioritizing marketability and popularity more than abstract notions of quality.

An algorithm’s understanding of what artwork should be featured tends to lean heavily in favor of those that can generate likes faster or potentially result in higher engagements—which, as a consequence, negates the basis from which artistic decision-making was built: drawing inspiration from our own human experience.

These issues aren't exclusive to AI either; humans, too, create their own 'bubbles,' where they only pick out art pieces that conform to their specific tastes without paying due attention to works outside them.

Yet, with algorithms embedded into online registration forms for panels, exhibitions, or even publications, this bias becomes further accentuated because machines aren’t able to measure something as complex as art appreciation accurately.

For example, rather than art being appreciated for its aesthetic or for the story it intends to tell through a multisensory experience, curation revolves around whether or not it can ‘sell’ – judging artwork solely on its perceived commercial viability.

This shift in perspective runs the risk of treating art like a commodity — one that should be judged and valued based solely on its marketability rather than how well it captures the multitudes of human experiences.

Essentially, this means design values are determined more by market demands than has been traditionally done.

Technology Should Complement Rather Than Replace Artistic Sensibilities 

At the end of the day, it doesn't take away from the importance of using technology to streamline long-winded parts of producing an exhibition or publication. Still, it does raise questions about whether unnaturally favoring certain elements devalues other vital components, such as diversity in artwork.

Instead of going completely down the route of AI-driven curation, a more balanced approach is needed that includes human input at every stage—from briefing right through to selection.

Not only does such an arrangement honor the artist’s creativity, but it also ensures that decisions remain consistent with our innate understanding of art rather than being entirely dictated by limited metrics employed by machines. That way, we can enjoy the benefits of utilizing both technology and creative intuition in order to ensure a truly diverse set of works when it comes time to showcase exhibitions or publications for all audiences.