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AI Artwork Sells for $432,000

Paul Rubens - October 26, 2018 - 07:21 AM
AI Artwork Sells for $432,000
The complex computer algorithm was designed to be able to emulate human creativity.

(CCM) — A portrait created by an artificial intelligence (AI) has sold at an auction at Christie's in New York for $432,000. The painting, titled "Portrait of Edmond Belamy," is the first AI artwork to be sold at a leading auction house, and the final price was over 40 times in excess of Christie's pre-sale estimate of $7,000 - $10,000.


The AI was designed by a French art collective called Obvious, and its underlying computer algorithm was designed to analyze 15,000 portraits from the 14th to 20th century, and come up with an original work, according to Christie's.

To do this the algorithm uses a "Generator," which creates a new image based on the information it gleans from the 15,000 portraits. Then a "Discriminator" looks at the result and tries to work out if the image has been painted by a human or created by the Generator.

"The aim is to fool the Discriminator into thinking that the new images are real-life portraits," explained Hugo Caselles- Dupré, one of the collective members. "Then we have a result."

In the past the collective also used its AI to create nudes and landscapes, before deciding to focus it on portraits. "We found that portraits provided the best way to illustrate our point," said Caselles- Dupré, "which is that algorithms are able to emulate creativity."

Image: © Obvious.
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