a story generated by AI
The other day I asked Gaia to suggest the beginning of a story.
She told me this sentence: “it was a very bright morning, the night had passed sleepless but the day promised strange and new things.”
From here began a curious journey halfway between experimentation and creative process.
I’ve been having fun playing (to try to understand the mechanisms) with algorithms of so-called artificial intelligence. The idea is to grasp (as far as possible) mechanisms and potentials, to be able to use them in the installations and performances of NuvolaProject. We don’t like to use technology only to generate amazement, we like to use it for a reason, to investigate and express its potential and then to enter into a relationship with its languages to make it part of the creative process. and, sometimes, part of the work itself. Whether they are video projections or generative art algorithms, or interconnected devices.
This led me to experiment with powerful text generation algorithms. The famous GPTs (reached a few months ago the impressive version 3).
I will not dwell on the processes underlying these algorithms because, as mentioned, I do not yet fully understand them and certainly there are others who could explain them better than me. However to make it simple: the mechanism tries to guess which word should follow the previous one, on the basis of some parameters (up to 175 billion) only with statistical calculations. OK I said it very poorly, but let’s pretend that is like this for now.
I then used one of these algorithms to generate a text, starting from the phrase that Gaia had invented.
Just out of curiosity.
I had no idea where this would have leaded me, and, frankly, I wasn’t expecting much.
The result suprised me a lot. The alghorithm began to tell me the strange story of a cat. A cat. An element randomly inserted obviously, but its story was still curiously (for me) consistent with the opening incipit, with the expectations of a morning, the discovery, those “strange things”, and so on.
I found it funny.
So I decided to keep playing.
I asked another algorithm to “paint” images starting from the sentences generated by the first algorithm. Again I was not expecting great results.
I know that it shoudl be realitvely easy create a coherent image with phrases such as “sunset over the sea in Van Gogh style” (which anyway …) but in my case I was asking to imagine even complex situations. One sentence for example was “But this time it wasn’t the same. The cat was now part of a hunt. And the perfume was that of another being “. Now, try to draw an image starting from this sentence by yourselves.
Yet the result was surprisingly effective. In the image it seems to see a figure of a man from behind reading a book, nearby there is a figure that could be that of a cat crouched in the grass.
At this point I began to find the ingredients of a small work of creativity (one could say generative art) in my hands.
I still used a third algorithm to generate music that could match the images and text. (NOTE: in this case the process was more casual, but the result, once again, was surprisingly in line with the atmosphere generated by the text).
But the premise I made is that we don’t like to use technology in a sterile and aseptic way. The result I had obtained was amusing but far from being even vaguely considered a work.
Once again the key was to close the circle, to have the text read by the voice (and by the emotionality and artistic interpretation) of those who had invented the opening sentence. The result was curious, funny and, for me, exciting. A collaboration between “intelligences” that produced a small one and a half minute video, coherent, funny and above all, in the light of the production and creative process, surprising (I know I used this term very often).
I don’t know if it can really be defined as a work by NuvolaProject, after all, the bulk of the work was done by the algorithms, but we (Gaia and I) put in it the graft and the creative will to make these algorithms dialogue, and one more we wanted to enter into a relationship with those languages, thus perhaps adding that component (the creative will in fact) that distinguishes a work of art (whatever its value or artistic result) from a casual act.
So maybe yes, you can say it’s a work by NuvolaProject.