Using Algorithms to Improve Data Collection and Viewing; Effects of generative art on traditional art

Li, Jet, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Earle, Joshua
Vrugtman, Rosanne

Technical Paper Abstract
Over the summer, I worked for a company that hosts a platform that allows any freelancer or individual to showcase and sell their creations. In particular they had an issue of collecting sales and views data fast enough. The data would be slightly delayed resulting in an inaccurate sales count and trending page. My team was tasked with analyzing the cause of the issue and implementing a fix to better collect data. The frameworks that we used most were Next.js as well as React. We used Next.js to implement a faster backend alongside SQL Lite. My team and I primarily used the Scrum methodology to communicate with other teams, since it is an agile methodology we were able to design a fix pretty quickly. Because of this we are able to efficiently highlight trending and key creators as well as assist customers with showing them what they are looking for as well as other suggestions related to it along with related suggestions. Due to this project the company saw an increase of 13% of user sales. This system we implemented is still being updated as the state of the data analyzation is still lacking. The experience gained from this project provided valuable insights into the challenges of managing large-scale data in real-time environments but also highlighted the importance of agile project management and the effective use of technology in solving complex problems.

STS Abstract
Humans have a tendency to fear what they do not know, and this tendency can be seen in many different forms within today’s society. One such unknown is artificial intelligence (AI). With the exponential rate in which technology has progressed post industrial revolution, it is almost second nature within humans to stop and question what is happening around them. In the case of AI which was only theorized in the mid 1900’s, the fear extends as far as the number of applications of artificial intelligence. Public fear of AI stems directly from a few categories such as safety concerns, privacy, monetary/labor abuse. Even though AI was created with the intention to automate everyday tasks for humans and make life easier, these fears linger behind every application or mention of the word.
Artificial intelligence can be trained to do a wide range of tasks, enough that this technology can no longer be viewed under one category, instead each application creates a branch of doubt and uncertainty. One such branch which is commonly undermined by the prevalent fields of autonomous cars and personal assistants is art.
Art has existed in one form or another for over 10,000 years, from cave murals to the Mona Lisa, for thousands of years art was used to express emotion, sentiment, and meaning. Even with modern art, the value each piece holds is subjective. For example a provocative piece from Maurizio Cattelan where he taped a banana onto a blank canvas was able to sell for over $100,000, but why? Is it just simply money laundering or is there something that everyone is missing. The simple explanation is that the creator Maurizio Cattelan created a captivating story with his work which inherently gave it its value.
So how can AI be used in art? With the development of DALL-E and other image generators, any person is now capable of creating sketches to full on portraits with the right prompt. DALL-E for instance requires a sentence or two of what the user invisions and it will output an image in that likeness. This creates a problem when depictions created by a computer can no longer be distinguished between human made. Traditionally when people think of art we immediately think of paint and canvas, recently artists have begun to shift to electronic canvases and even photo editors such as photoshop. With the introduction of AI the landscape has begun to shift as the main metric to measure art, time is now obsolete.
I chose to do my research on the impacts of machine generations on art and how it is perceived since art is an outlet for humans to express themselves, but adding AI to the mix deprives the original take on the word which has co-exist with humans for as long as we have been around. For my methodology I analyzed interviews and articles with prominent traditional artists as well artists who embrace AI with the SCoT method. My argument is that as technology progresses as a whole it is supposed to take humans to realms that were once unimaginable and in this case AI can be a tool in which people use to further express themselves. I believe that this topic is worth looking into as it tries to define a line that should or should not be crossed by technology. In the following sections I will present different social groups that have experience in the matter and how they interpret the influences on the technology.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Art, Artificial Intelligence

School of Engineering and Applied Science

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

Technical Advisor: Rosanne Vrugtman

STS Advisor: Joshua Earle

Technical Team Members: Jet Li

Issued Date: