CHRISTIE’S in New York is set to become the first auction house to sell a portrait painted by AI (artificial intelligence).
The portrait of a fictional character was created by an algorithm (think of it as a fancy to-do list for a computer) and is expected to fetch up to £7,700 at auction in October.
When the painting – called The Portrait of Edmond Belamy – sells, it will be the first in history to be painted by a robot and then sold at auction. Auction house Christie’s says that the sale “will signal the arrival of AI art on the world auction stage”.
The artists behind the algorithm call themselves Obvious and are a Paris-based group of three super-smart 25-year-olds. The trio fed the AI a data set of 15,000 portraits painted between the 14th century and the 20th century. “The Generator makes a new image based on the set,” they explain. The AI then keeps producing paintings until it fools a program designed to distinguish between human and computer design. Pretty cool, huh?
Is this just the beginning for AI art? Would you buy art made by AI?