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How a Teenager's Code Spawned a $432,500 Piece of Art

WIRED

One Thursday last month, 19-year-old Robbie Barrat woke to a fusillade of messages on his phone. "I was half asleep but saw they all contained the same number," he says. "Then I fell back asleep for a few hours. I didn't really want to believe." The number in those messages was $432,500--the winning bid at Christie's New York on a ghostly portrait created using artificial intelligence, following a recipe Barrat posted online not long after graduating high school.


AI creates 'sexy' nude portraits and the results are horrifying

Daily Mail - Science & tech

An artificially intelligent (AI) machine that creates surreal nude portraits has been built by a teenager in Virginia. AI whiz Robbie Barrat fed a neural network - an AI that functions like the human brain - thousands of naked portraits and then trained it to create its own racy artworks. In a Twitter post, he said the software often paints people as fleshy blobs spouting random tendrils and limbs, adding: 'I wonder if that's how machines see us'. While most of the women in the images appear lumpy and misshapen, some of the subjects closely resemble slender, standing figures. Mr Barrat, who recently graduated high school in West Virginia, said he is currently doing'deep learning interning' for AI computing giant NVIDIA.


How three French students used borrowed code to put the first AI portrait in Christie's

#artificialintelligence

On Thursday, October 25th, Christie's will conduct a very unusual sale. As part of a three-day Prints & Multiples event, it's auctioning off the Portrait of Edmond Belamy, a canvas in a gold frame that shows the smudged figure of what looks like an 18th century gentleman. It's expected to fetch a modest price, somewhere between $7,000 and $10,000, but the artwork's distinguishing feature is that it was "created by an artificial intelligence," says Christie's. "And when it goes under the hammer, [it] will signal the arrival of AI art on the world auction stage." But for members of the burgeoning AI art community, there's another attribute that sets the Portrait of Edmond Belamy apart: it's a knock-off. The print was created by Obvious, a trio of 25-year-old French students whose goal is to "explain and democratize" AI through art.


How three French students used borrowed code to put the first AI portrait in Christie's

#artificialintelligence

On Friday, October 25th, Christie's will conduct a very unusual sale. As part of a three-day Prints & Multiples event, it's auctioning off the Portrait of Edmond Belamy, a canvas in a gold frame that shows the smudged figure of what looks like an 18th century gentleman. It's expected to fetch a modest price, somewhere between $7,000 and $10,000, but the artwork's distinguishing feature is that it was "created by an artificial intelligence," says Christie's. "And when it goes under the hammer, [it] will signal the arrival of AI art on the world auction stage." But for members of the burgeoning AI art community, there's another attribute that sets the Portrait of Edmond Belamy apart: it's a knock-off. The print was created by Obvious, a trio of 25-year-old French students whose goal is to "explain and democratize" AI through art.


Christie's Is First to Sell Art Made by Artificial Intelligence, But What Does That Mean?

#artificialintelligence

On Thursday, the AI-generated "Portrait of Edmond Belamy" sold for $432,500--some 45 times its estimated value--in a sale trumpeted by Christie's as the first auction to feature work created by artificial intelligence. It's a moment likely to be marked in the timeline of both AI and art history, but what, exactly, does the sale signify? For the AI community, the Verge's James Vincent writes in the days preceding the bidding war, the auction provoked controversy among those who argued that the humans behind the canvas (a trio of 25-year-olds best known as the Paris-based art collective Obvious) relied heavily on 19-year-old Robbie Barrat's algorithms yet failed to sufficiently credit him. If the work was truly authored by this string of numbers and letters, does it matter who built and trained the AI? And, given the relatively blurred, imprecise vision the portrait--which Vulture art critic Jerry Saltz scathingly describes as "100 percent generic"--offers of its dour-looking subject, does "Edmond Belamy" even deserve a place in the art history canon? There are no straightforward answers to these questions.