Christie’s, the auction house responsible for selling artworks by the most proclaimed artists in history, is selling the first ever collection of art created by Artificial Intelligence (AI).
The collection was created by Paris-based collective Obvious, consisting of Hugo Caselles-Dupré, Pierre Fautrel and Gauthier Vernier. The collection is an arrangement of several portraits based on the fictitious Belamy family. One portrait, of Edmond Belamy “depicts a slightly blurry chubby man in a dark frock-coat and white collar, possibly a man of the church”, Christies said.
The works have been created using an AI method called “generative adversarial network” or GAN, whereby the algorithm is composed of two parts. On one side is the Generator, on the other the Discriminator. The process involves feeding 15 0000 portraits painted between the 14th and 20th centuries to a computer. The Generator produces new images based on this set. The Discriminator then has to look for differences between the real portraits and those created by the Generator, until the Discriminator can be tricked into thinking the portrait was created by a human hand.
Going under the hammer at Christies New York branch, the artwork is expected to fetch between $US7000 to $US10,000.
The work was produced as an experiment “in the interface between art and artificial intelligence”, according to Christie’s.