You Can Be Replaced

Perhaps no other statement by a boss strikes greater fear than, “You can be replaced, you know.”

Now painters have that fate to fear.

A new study in Frontiers in Robotics and AI suggests robots will soon replace painters.

Electrical engineer María Santos and her colleagues taught a dozen robots to crisscross a canvas, leaving trails of paint behind.

“We envisioned the multi-robot system as an extension of an artist’s creative palette,” Santos told New Scientist.

3CPO by The Artist Wade

“Because the human only controls the collective behavior of the team, the multi-robot team can be an active brush for the human artist to paint with.”

Currently, the robots trail simulated, not real, paint across the canvas. But it won’t be long before actual paint gets deployed.

Painters can only take this as a stern warning.

Santos claims she’s assisting painters.

Her robots “highlight the effects and benefits of considering heterogeneous teams when there is a limited availability of painting resources,” she writes.

But we painters know better.

In the words of 3CPO, “The chances of survival are 725 to one.”