[This is an invited talk presented at the Robots and Art Forum at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Brisbane, Australia on 24 May 2018 – //roboticart.org/icra2018/]
Robots that Draw and Automating Art by Todd Murphey
Robots are integrating into our lives as we are increasingly driven by driverless cars, have vacuums that autonomously clean our homes, and expect machines to deliver our packages. These capabilities seemingly mimic only low-level human capabilities, and the automation that enables them tends to be designed with low-level capabilities in mind. Robots that create artwork confront us with a different viewpoint of automation, a viewpoint that encourages us to wonder whether robots may be able to have creative capabilities similar to those we usually hold in reserve for ourselves. If a robot draws a beautiful portrait, is it creating art? If not, why not? This may come down to the sophistication and complexity we discern in the creation process, and in some cases drawing can be automated very simple tools.
Dr. Todd D. Murphey is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Physical Therapy & Human Movement Sciences at Northwestern University. He received his B.S. degree in mathematics from the University of Arizona and the Ph.D. degree in Control and Dynamical Systems from the California Institute of Technology. His laboratory is part of the Neuroscience and Robotics Laboratory, and his research interests include computational methods for mechanics and real-time optimal control, human-in-the-loop control, and information theory in physical systems. Honors include the National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2006, membership in the 2014-2015 DARPA/IDA Defense Science Study Group, and Northwestern’s Charles Deering McCormick Professorship of Teaching Excellence. He is a Senior Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics.