Written artificial intelligence, the painting was sold for almost half a million dollars

The famous auction house Christie’s sold the first “work of art”, written in artificial intelligence, reports the portal the Verge. The painting is titled “Portrait of Edmond Bellamy” was sold for 432 $ 500. Selling “masterpiece” was unusual not only because it is the first case in the 252-year history of the auction house’s sale of the painting robot, but also because the expected value of the lot had to be no more than 7-10 thousand dollars.

The work was written by the neural network, created by a team of three French students, calling themselves Obvious. To create AI, they used a machine learning algorithm the generative-adversarial network (GAN). To paint the neural network learned on the basis of portraits of historical personalities. After that she was given the task to write your own picture in the digital environment. Obvious then printed out the result, put it in a frame and signed as the work of the GAN algorithm.

It should be noted that before the auction the desire to put a picture of Bellamy as a lot of the highly respected auction house faced a barrage of criticism from the art world. In addition, it later emerged that Obvious used a piece of software code of another “AI painter”, written by 19-year-old Robbie Barratt. It is unknown what exactly was the percentage of borrowing, but experts say that, most likely, we are talking about a significant share. At the moment it remains unclear whether the Barratt claim ownership rights created by the plate because the code he has written was distributed in the public domain.

In its press release Obvious reported the following:

“We would like to thank the AI community and in particular those who opened the way for us to use this technology. It is first and foremost about Ian Goodfellow, who wrote the algorithm of GAN and became the mastermind of the subjects of future paintings as well as artist Robbie Barratt, which to us serious impact. This is a significant moment, and we hope that the interest in an auction will be the inspiration for our predecessors and colleagues. We are very grateful to the auction house Christie’s, which came out of this dialogue to the art community and give us the privilege to become part of the global discussion of the impact of this new technology on the process of creating art.”

Journalists of The Verge contacted representatives of auction houses Christie’s and those in a telephone conversation confirmed the sale of the painting. On the buyer to tell did not become, as he wished to remain anonymous. In addition, journalists turned to Barratt for comments, but while the young artist-programmer said nothing.

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