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AI-generated portrait sells for $432,500 at auction

By midian182 · 7 replies
Oct 26, 2018
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  1. An anonymous buyer paid almost half a million dollars for Edmond de Belamy, which was created by three Paris-based friends—one a machine learning student—collectively known as Obvious.

    There has been a fair amount of controversy surrounding this painting, and not just because of how it might affect the art world in general. Obvious used 19-year-old Robbie Barrat’s Generative Adversarial Networks (GAN) package, which is freely available on GitHub, and trained it on a data set of 15,000 portraits painted between the 14th and 20th Centuries. The network then tried to generate its own image.

    Obvious said it did use Barret’s work, but the code was altered. The group also thanked Ian Goodfellow, the creator of the GAN algorithm.

    “Am I crazy for thinking that they really just used my network and are selling the results?” tweeted Barret.

    Some outlets have reported that the painting was “created” by AI, whereas “generated” is a more accurate description. As noted by the BBC, the algorithm compared its own work to those in the data set until it could not tell them apart.

    Speaking to Motherboard, Mark Riedl, an associate professor of AI and machine learning at Georgia Institute of Technology, said: “The algorithm isn’t the only thing that went into creating this art—GANs don’t have free will.”

    “They’re really, really complicated paintbrushes with lots of mathematical parameters, and you can use this paintbrush to achieve an effect that might be hard to achieve otherwise.”

    At the bottom of the painting is a section of the algorithm that generated it: “min G max D x [log (D(x))] + z [log(1 – D (G(z)))].”

    Permalink to story.

  2. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,443   +1,438

    Now we wait for the lawsuit from Barrat.... wonder if you are entitled to profits from an open-source project?

    I'm guessing he gets 0...
    Reehahs likes this.
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,145   +3,568

    Now HERE is a perfect example of when a shredder SHOULD have been built into the frame!
  4. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 2,143   +1,308

    I think my definition of AI is different then most people.
  5. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Guru Posts: 724   +462

    Art auction houses where money laundering is done in plain sight.
  6. PcePce

    PcePce TS Enthusiast Posts: 75   +24

    Which 3rd-grade art class did these horrible people steal that painting from?
  7. amghwk

    amghwk TS Guru Posts: 489   +302

    Wish I had that much money to buy me things I wanted to use like a latest gaming laptop and desktop, a car, medical insurance and the rest put into investment, rather than buying a frame with blurred picture of someone I don't know and leave it hanging on a wall.
  8. L Monty

    L Monty TS Rookie

    That AI really outsmarted those humans this time.
    Bannhammer likes this.

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