First Painting Made By Artificial Intelligence To Be Auctioned At New York


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This is a piece of news, which a few years ago would have seemed part of the fiction. However, with the pace at which Artificial Intelligence is being adopted into all walks of life, this news is more impressive than it is surprising.

A portrait ‘painted’ by AI is set for auction at New York this week and will be the first piece of art designed by a computer rather than by a human. Painted in the style that reminds of European art from before the 1800s, the portrait only fills part of the canvas and looks like a man with a blurry face. Overall, the painting is rather unnerving.

The AI that generated the image obviously was based on the work of human programmers-more specifically of a group of art collectives from Paris called “Obvious”. The  Neural Network that churned out the portrait was fed over 15000 paintings from the period between 14th to 20th century by the Obvious team in order to train it to recognize key elements in fine art.

The programmers used the GAN(Generative Adversarial Network) technique in AI in which two Neural Networks, the Generator, and the Discriminator, are pitted against each other resulting in two parts of the image, both competing against each other. The Generator churns out artificial images as close as possible to the real ones while Discriminators compares them with real (human-made) images and tries to determine which are artificial and which are human-made.The process repeated over and over then yields the final image.

The portrait is called “Portrait of Edmond De Bellamy” and is anticipated to sell out at between $7000 and $10,000.

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