Can Artificial Intelligence Make Art?

16 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2021

Date Written: April 15, 2021


In two experiments (total N=693) we explored whether people are willing to consider paintings made by AI-driven robots as art, and robots as artists. Across the two experiments, we manipulated three factors: (i) agent type (AI-driven robot v. human agent), (ii) behavior type (intentional creation of a painting v. accidental creation), and (iii) object type (abstract v. representational painting). We found that people judge robot paintings and human painting as art to roughly the same extent. However, people are much less willing to consider robots as artists than humans, which is partially explained by the fact that they are less disposed to attribute artistic intentions to robots.

Keywords: artificial intelligence, creativity, aesthetics, AI art, mental states

Suggested Citation

Mikalonytė, Elzė Sigutė and Kneer, Markus, Can Artificial Intelligence Make Art? (April 15, 2021). Available at SSRN: or

Elzė Sigutė Mikalonytė (Contact Author)

Vilnius University ( email )

Sauletekio ave. 11, Vilnius

Markus Kneer

University of Zurich ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zürich, CH-8006

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics