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Wednesday, 14 November 2018 00:00

Art Vs. Artifice

If people could accurately predict the value of a work of art before the creator becomes noticed and famous, Vincent Van Gogh would have succeeded in dying a rich man -- instead of leaving this world having never sold a single painting.

Is the next big thing in the world of art a creator known as...Artificial Intelligence (AI)? Or, possibly, Alle Geax-Rhythm?

If a recent sale of a machine-generated portrait is indication, the possibilities in that general direction look encouraging. The seemingly unfinished work (so much the better to leave something to the imagination) recently sold at auction for $432,500 -- almost 45 times higher than its estimate, says Christie's, the auction house that facilitated the sale.

Published in Our Blog

Farmers regularly battle the challenges of pests and weeds, creating a huge industry for the corporations creating herbicides and industrial weed killers. But that industry is facing one of its biggest challengers yet: technology.

Using artificial intelligence, a weedkilling robot in Switzerland can scan for weeds and zap them with weed killer much more efficiently than traditional methods. Although the robot is still in the testing phase, though, it faces opposition from the multibillion-dollar industry it threatens to disrupt. Herbicide sales make up nearly half of all pesticide sales, bringing in $26 billion each year.

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Rick Huckstep, writing at The Digital Insurer, writes about a recent insurance market event he attended in London, attended by plenty of underwriters and brokers.

Talk eventually turned to an article that Huckstep had written about artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data. He told his colleagues that upwards of 80% of insurance underwriting would soon be handled in an automated fashion.

Then, Huckstep writes, "Sitting opposite me was a London market broker. He reached inside his jacket pocket, pulled out his pen and said, 'Nothing writes business faster than a Mont Blanc pen!' And he was deadly serious.

Hucklstep goes on to note that this traditional mindset is still fairly prevalent in the insurance industry. However, he notes, "technology is rapidly catching the insurance industry up. It’s just that some in the insurance industry don’t yet realize it!"

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