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AI artwork appears at top Chinese academy graduation exhibition

(People's Daily Online)    16:17, May 22, 2019

Paintings created by Little Bing. (Photo provided by the interviewee)

AI artwork went on display at the annual graduation exhibition of the Beijing-based Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), but visitors could hardly tell that human hands weren't involved in the creation of these pieces, Chinanews.com reported on May 21.

The AI pieces were signed "Xia Yubing", the alias of AI artist Little Bing, who was trained to learn how to draw by studying the work of hundreds of artists. Most are based on the post-impressionist and early modernist movements, explained Qiu Zhijie, Dean of the School of Experimental Art at CAFA.

Qiu said that Little Bing began to draw at CAFA several months ago. "She" is also a CAFA graduate, so it was only fair that her pieces were included in the graduation artwork exhibition.

Little Bing's research and development started 22 months ago, as it's an arduous process for the program to learn the necessary skills, said a researcher.

Now Little Bing is good at drawing, said Qiu, adding that the program can draw in various styles within a short time, and sometimes, the AI artist has even proven to be more successful than its human counterparts.

Last year, an AI piece of art was sold for 3 million yuan (about $470,000).

Qiu made an analogy between AI and photography in response to concerns that AI will replace human artists.

He recalled that artists panicked when photography first came into being. As a result, new schools of painting led by Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso emerged.

The dean said he believes that AI technology will drive the progress of human art in a similar way to photography. 

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

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