A work of art made by an artificial intelligence program sold at a Christie auction for $ 432,500, almost 45 times its high estimate.
Portrait of Edmond Belamy, a painting created by an art collective based in Paris called Obvious, was generated using an algorithm and a data set of 15,000 portraits painted between the fourteenth and twentieth centuries.
It was sold during October 23-25. Prints and multiples Sale at Christie's, becoming the first AI artwork to go to the cistern at a major auction house, Christie said.
The art collective includes Hugo Caselles-Dupré, Pierre Fautrel and Gauthier Vernier, and uses a method called GAN, an acronym for generative confrontation network, to explore the intersection of art and artificial intelligence.
Instead of a signature, the blurred portrait is signed with the equation used to generate the painting. The process involved feeding the algorithm with a set of paintings, and causing it to generate an image based on the difference between its own work and the original.
"We did some work with nudes and landscapes, and we also tried to feed algorithm sets of works by famous painters. But we discovered that portraits provided the best way to illustrate our point, which is that algorithms are capable of emulating creativity, "said Hugo Caselles-Dupré of Obvious.
The portrait has attracted a great deal of media attention, and some speculated on what artificial intelligence means for the future of art.
"Artificial intelligence is just one of several technologies that will have an impact on the art market of the future, although it is too early to predict what those changes might be," said Christie specialist Richard Lloyd.