Where Does A.I. End and We Begin?

Artificial intelligence can act as a collaborator that helps artists produce new works.
Where Does A.I. End and We Begin?

This personal reflection is part of a series called Turning Points, in which writers explore what critical moments from this year might mean for the year ahead. You can read more by visiting the Turning Points series page.

The following is an artist’s interpretation of the year — how it was or how it might be, through the lens of art.

Where does A.I. end and we begin? I’ve been thinking about this question — the line between machines and human creativity — for a long time. In my art, lines are governing elements over images. But what happens when those lines are made by a machine?

In 2015, I began my journey in co-creation. It took two years to meticulously scan more than 20 years’ worth of my drawings into a system I developed to train a recurrent neural network. The neural network drives the movements of D.O.U.G., short for Drawing Operations Unit: Generation 2, a robot I built to draw with me. We made our debut in 2017. Today, I’m continuing to explore emerging technology — biosensors, computer vision, virtual reality and custom machines. It’s been nearly a decade. I wonder, with all these technological adaptations, what will become of the human hand?