Thinking | Articles

Man Vs. Machine

By Charlie Herrmann
Click here to read about ‘The Next Rembrandt’
ING and Microsoft recently collaborated on an interesting project:
‘The Next Rembrandt’. The project aimed to use technology to ‘touch the human soul.’ Harnessing shared technological capabilities, the two companies created the next painting Rembrandt may have produced if he was still with us today.

Their process consisted of the collection and analysis of Rembrandt’s work to decipher what ‘makes’ a Rembrandt – the subjects, age range, faces, clothing, composition… to then create a new painting based on data.

While it may be difficult to understand how something representing the finest of human sensibility could be created from hundreds and hundreds lines of code, the result is impressive.

Are we reaching the point where machines can not only replace humans to conduct basic physical tasks, but also achieve results requiring what we thought we were the only ones to possess: soul?