AI Art on the Horizon as Computers Learn Culture, Tencent Forecasts

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The Palace Museum and Tencent held a “Culture and Technology” International Forum at the Imperial Palace on November 28. Tencent COO Mark Ren spoke at the opening ceremony, saying that Tencent would focus on bridging science and culture to empower its partners and contribute to the rejuvenation of Chinese civilization.

The forum explored the relationship between traditional culture and new technology, how to integrate science and technology with humanity and ways to promote the inheritance and innovation of culture by technological forces. The forum includes three sub-forums, namely: New Thinking – The Future Museum under Digital Technology; New Path – Digital Era and the Rebirth of Traditional Culture; and New Integration – Science and Technology and Humanities in Daily Life and Tengyun Summit. The third sub-forum was jointly organized by Tencent Social Research Center, Tencent’s NEXT IDEA Innovation Platform and the Palace Museum.

Tencent, as an Internet-based technology and culture company, said technology and culture would be important for Tencent in the future, Ren said. We are in an era of technological explosion, he said, and the impact of new technology on human life will be far-reaching. The advancement of science and technology will lead to cultural prosperity, he said.

Ren gave an example. With the aid of Internet technology, Tencent’s reading platform has 300 million active users. Each user can be a writer and release his works. The platform has incubated 6.4 million authors and created 10 million online literary works.

Ren said technology not only creates new forms of culture, but also enables better publicity and sharing of historical assets. From the Louvre to the Forbidden City, almost all museums around the world are embracing digitization. “Technology will promote cultural prosperity, and culture will make technology more human,” Ren said, “Technology and culture is not just Tencent’s mission, but society’s common mission.”

Ren also envisioned that just like AI AlphaGo, who finally beat humans at go, in fields of art and music, AI may start studying the history of human cultural heritage eventually evolve to create genius works.

This article originally appeared in Techweb and was translated by Pandaily.
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