8A Critical Analysis of Machine Learning Techniques

It is important to note that the factual basis of a science of aesthetics is not to settle whether some image or object is “objectively beautiful” – we agree with Kant that this is impossible – but rather to determine whether (or to what degree) some representative set of individuals judge or experience it as beautiful (or ugly).

Stephen E. PALMER, Karen B. SCHLOSS and Jonathan SAMMARTINO (2013)

8.1. The popularity of studies on aesthetics

Let us begin by observing that over the past few years the scientific community has grown much more interested in aesthetics. For the past 20 years, there have been over 50,000 publications a year dedicated to this field. Many of these concern the fields of philosophy, where they study two aspects chiefly: the relationship between art and beauty, and the relationship between beauty and culture. However, as we have seen, new studies intertwine aesthetics and technology, either in order to find the biological sources of aesthetic judgments or to reproduce this aesthetic judgment through algorithms. Thus, a search for the rather unusual combination “aesthetics + computer” on Google Scholar returned close to 20,000 hits in 2019, whereas there were no more than 5,000 hits 20 years before1.


Table 8.1 The various machine learning systems of phototgraphic quality in the order in which they appeared ...

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