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Artist’s Nude Portrait Made Using AI Becomes First To Win A Global Art Prize
By Yoon Sann Wong, 02 Oct 2018
2018 Lumen Prize Gold Award winner titled ‘The Butcher’s Son’ by Mario Klingemann, image courtesy of Lumen Prize
A nude portrait created using artificial intelligence (AI) bagged the first global art prize for its kind at the 7th Annual Lumen Prize Awards Ceremony recently held in London.
The Gold Award was presented to German artist Mario Klingemann, who created the work titled The Butcher’s Son, shown above, using AI.
Klingemann described the work as a “neural network’s interpretation of the human form.”
The visual was made wholly through a machine via a chain of GANs (generative adversarial neural networks). In this chain, a randomly created stick figure functioned as input for the initial GAN, which developed a “painterly-looking low-resolution proto-image.”
Through subsequent processes, the low-resolution graphic was “transhanced” and “upscaled” by another GAN, thereby enhancing the resolution and including details plus textures.
“I control this process indirectly by training the model on selected data sets, the model’s hyperparameters and eventually by making a curatorial choice, by picking among the thousands of variations produced by the models the one that speaks to me most,” explained Klingemann.
In a press statement, Danielle Siembieda—Deputy Director of Leonardo/ISAST and a member of Lumen’s International Selectors Committee—commented, “It conveys the intense color, stroke and composition quality of a portrait while adding to the mystery of the human body.”
“There’s a lot of fear and worry today about how AI will affect our lives.” added Carla Rapoport, founder of the Lumen Prize. “At the same time, these same tools can create real joy when artists engage with them. This is what art is all about. Each year, Lumen Prize winners break barriers in the art world, and 2018 provides another excellent example.”
See all the winners of the 2018 Lumen Prize Awards here.
[via Lumen Prize, image by Mario Klingemann, courtesy of Lumen Prize]
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