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Ai and the Artistic Imaginary

Creative-Ai Technology in Sustainable, Ethical and Legitimate Practice

”ArtistXComputer”, Triptych compiled by Andre Holzapfel using Text2Image v.3.0

Artificial intelligence will extend the current possibilities for digital art industries beyond reproduction and distribution: AI facilitates a global automated creation of arts that aims at imitating, combining, and extending existing artistic styles (creative-AI). This has major implications for artistic practice and society in general, which deserve careful study. Central questions investigated in this project are: How is creative-Ai currently used by artist communities, and which future applications do artists imagine? What can guide the ethical use of data for creating AI in the context of the arts? When Ai is applied to creating art, how will it impact economy, environment, fairness and diversity in different cultural contexts? How can answers to these questions guide requirements for intellectual property regimes?

Changes of cultural practice and technology are often analyzed in retrospect, accompanied by praises of new artistic expression, or lamentations of lost purity and diversity. This project will survey the shape of creative-Ai technology and its many consequences on artistic practice and experience. It will involve stakeholders from diverse artistic contexts in interactions with creative-Ai prototypes, and will forecast how interacting
with creative-Ai can be experienced by creators and audiences, and how creative-Ai will be conceived of by developers of technology. These analyses will then motivate the development of alternative directions for environmentally sustainable creative-Ai, of ethical guidelines for creative-AI developers and users, and alternative directions for intellectual property rights focused on the specificities of creative-AI.

The methods used in the project combine ethnography, digital methods, sustainability assessment, and recent human-computer interaction approaches with a critical method. The project team consists of experts in science and technology studies, ethnomusicology, sustainability, music informatics and computer science, and an advisory board of experts in law, ethics, media studies and anthropology. The project marks a significant leap concerning environmentally and economically sustainable trustworthy creative-Ai, and establishes necessary conditions for various forms of artistic practice to flourish in the new age of creative-Ai.

Team Members

Andre Holzapfel (Principle Investigator, KTH)
Cecilia Åsberg (co-PI, LiU)
Bob Sturm (co-PI,KTH)
Daniel Pargman (co-supervisor, KTH)
Petra Jääskeläinen (PhD Candidate, KTH)
Anna-Kaisa Kaila (PhD Candidate, KTH)


Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation, WASP-HS






A. Holzapfel, "Introducing Political Ecology of Creative-Ai," i Handbook of Critical Studies of Artificial Intelligence, Simon Lindgren red., Cheltenham, United Kingdom : Edward Elgar Publishing, 2023.
A. Clemente, A. Friberg och A. Holzapfel, "Relations between perceived affect and liking for melodies and visual designs.," Emotion, 2022.
P. Jääskeläinen, A. Holzapfel och C. Åsberg, "Exploring More-than-Human Caring in Creative-Ai Interactions," i NordiCHI '22: Nordic Human-Computer Interaction Conference, 2022.
R. S. Huang, A. Holzapfel och B. Sturm, "Global Ethics : From Philosophy to Practice A Culturally Informed Ethics of Music AI in Asia," i Artificial Intelligence and Music Ecosystem, Martin Clancy red., : Routledge, 2022, s. 126-141.
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G. Valle-Perez et al., "Transflower : probabilistic autoregressive dance generation with multimodal attention," ACM Transactions on Graphics, vol. 40, no. 6, 2021.
O. Misgeld et al., "A case study of deep enculturation and sensorimotor synchronization to real music," i International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference, ISMIR, 2021.
R. Huang, B. Sturm och A. Holzapfel, "De-centering the west : East asian philosophies and the ethics of applying artificial intelligence to music," i International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference, ISMIR, 2021.
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