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Auction shows AI may be able to compete with humans in creative industries

By Zhang Xiaoyu (People's Daily Online)    16:56, October 26, 2018

The AI painting that was sold for $432,500. (A screenshot from the official website of Christie’s auction house)

AI has already "mastered" writing poetry and singing, and recently, a painting that was “created” by AI went under the hammer at Christie’s auction house in New York, selling for an incredible $432,500.

According to the auction house, the transaction price was almost 45 times higher than the estimate.

The painting in question is a portrait of a man named Edmond Belamy, and in place of a signature is a mathematical equation.

The painting's introduction. (A screenshot from the official website of Christie’s auction house)

An article published on the auction house's official website states that this transaction "marks that AI art has entered the world auction stage."

However, humans were still present behind this AI creation. Obvious, an art group from France, helped to create the painting. The team is dedicated to exploring the connection between art and AI.

The website quoted the team’s introduction of how they helped AI to paint - they input data of 15,000 portraits from the 14th to the 20th century to the system, so the generator could produce a new image. They then used the discriminator to distinguish the differences between human works of art and the generated images.

The signature of this painting is a mathematical equation. (A screenshot from the official website of Christie’s auction house)

“We found that portraits can prove our point of view, that is, algorithms can imitate ideas,” said one member of the team.

At the same time, there are reports saying that other members believe AI painting will become a new art form, but its purpose is not to replace human painters. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Shi Xi, Bianji)

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