Fabin Rasheed & Sleeba Paul recently brought alive Auria Kathi which is an amalgamation of art and science of a unique kind. It was something that intrigues everyone on either side of the coin. Fabin and Sleeba were generous in sharing their thoughts about their incredible ‘offspring’.
01: Fabin, can you please introduce us to Auria Kathi?
F&S: Auria is an AI poet-artist. She writes a short poem, generates an abstract art based on the poetry and color the image depends on her random mood. All these creative tasks are done without any human intervention. She is the first of her kind, having a studio on Instagram. She was conceived by myself and Sleeba as an artificially intelligent person who lives in a cloud and has evolving creativity. We could say that she doesn’t exist, but does existence really mean a physical presence?
02: Between the two aspects of art being explored – poetry and visual art – which, according to you, was more challenging technically and how close did you get to your imagination?
F&S: Technically, generating an image from the text was more difficult. Language modeling and generating text using Recurrent Neural Networks are not an underexplored area of interest. But when it comes to image generation, the network consists of Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs). It’s relatively a new field, a lot of research is going on in GANs, and we have many challenges to tackle. We’ve used a 2017 Microsoft research paper for our purpose. We expect that in the coming days, we’ll be witnessing more general purpose algorithms in this research area.
03: Last year, The Atlantic brought a story about a novel being written by AI titled ‘1 the Road’. It attracted some attention across the spectrum. As an artist, how do you feel about an AI generated art and literature becoming more mainstream in the coming future?
F&S: We endorse the idea of creative and intelligent machines can residing together. That will be complementary to one another. What if a musician doesn’t need to start a composition from scratch, rather he can begin with a 100 artificially generated samples and build his ideas on them? What if a poet could be inspired by a thought or an uncanny idea generated by a machine? It’ll be a sheer boost in productivity and value of time. Or what if there comes a new form of creativity beyond traditional poetry and music? Like these, we think AI will add a lot of newness and diversity to future art and literature.
04: Tell us something about the long term aspirations about Auria Kathi and other ideas you have.
F&S: Auria is planned as a hub for artificial intelligence artistry. We’ll bring in new variants of artificial digital art for her. Besides this, we are working on giving her a personality. That could mean her talking, creating videos, posting her own photographs, etc. We feel like explorers when it comes to creating Auria – we don’t know what she should be, but we want to find out what she could be.
Fabin’s writeup: https://medium.com/@nurecas/auriakathi-596dfb8710d6