14 Nov
Art Vs. Artifice Art Vs. Artifice

Art Vs. Artifice

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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.

One clue that the work was machine-generated: Its signature, which appears in the bottom right area of the painting and includes several symbols, including an algebraic formula. Yes, this piece was definitely created by our friend Alle, above. Or was that AI?

The Christie's AI painting is the brainchild of a Paris-based trio -- Hugo Caselles-Dupré, Pierre Fautrel and Gauthier Vernier -- who go by the collective name of Obvious. The three are devoted to looking into the intersection of artificial intelligence and art; they call their technique GAN, short for "generative adversarial network".

Caselles-Dupré explains that he and his colleagues provided the AI system with a data collection of some 15,000 portraits created between the 14th and 20th centuries. One part of the algorithm comes up with a new image and then attempts to trick the other part into believing that the images are actual, human-painted portraits.

"For now," he says, the algorithm "is more easily fooled than a human eye."


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Read 2598 times Last modified on Wednesday, 07 November 2018 05:30
Jim Lillie

Jim began writing for newspapers and designing for publishing companies at a time when both industries were just beginning to make the switch from manual to digital platforms. Jim lives in Boulder, Colorado with his teenage son.

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