3 questions to Bhautik Joshi, AI specialist for the next Kristen Stewart movie
Using Neural Style Transfer technology, the engineer at Adobe Bhautik Joshi has worked with Kristen Stewart on sequences for her artificial intelligence-redesigned movie? He gladly answered our questions:
Orange Pop: You’ve recently co-wrote an article about artificial intelligence in the arts with Kristen Stewart. How did this collaboration come about?
Bhautik Joshi: In 2016, I took an interest in this technique called Neural Style Transfer, which allows redrawing an image in a precise style of painting using a network of neurons. On paper, it’s a very cool technique but it can also be used to tell stories in several different ways. So I experimented with it by making a video that takes elements from 2001: Space Odyssey in the style of Picasso’s cubist period. The internet went crazy over the video and Kristen contacted me through her producer. She was working on her first film as a director and wanted to redesign some scenes from it in the style of a piece she had painted. So we worked together on some video footage and we wanted to write an article to crystalize it all. To sum up, this article isn’t really about how this new technology works but rather how to get something creative out of it
O. Pop: How important can artificial intelligence be for art in the future ?
B.J: I think IA will play a huge part in art but I don’t know to which extent. When it comes to artists, I see it as more as some sort of companion than replacement. It can’t work on its own. To reach an artistically qualitative result, you have to toy around with what AI puts creates. I do believe that AI is a great way to help an artist start a piece. But he must play around with the final result. I think people should see AI like a tool, or a new kind of brush. I believe it can change many components in society but what will remain is art. Because art is something that is fundamentally human. It’s actually what separates us from most other species
O.Pop : Don’t you think AI could write interesting movies or books in the future ?
B.J: Not really because factors such as authenticity and inspiration are fundamental human traits. Plus, AI needs to be « trained ». It needs a human output before it can do anything. Also it can’t really get a sense of what’s « cool » and what’s « in trend ». But I get that it is fascinating imagining what would happen if a computer could do everything an artist can. I don’t think there’s an answer to that question. The real answer would be way deeper that we can currently imagine
Bhautik Joshi, AI specialist © Bhautik Joshi/Matthew Almon Roth