AI-Painted Masterpiece Sells For Over 60 Times Its Estimated US$7,000 Bid Price
By Mikelle Leow, 26 Oct 2018
Image via Christie’s
The first AI-generated artwork to go on sale at an auction house was sold at an eyebrow-raising US$432,000, a far cry from its estimated price thar ran between US$7,000 and US$10,000.
The piece titled Portrait of Edmond Belamy, 2018 was produced by a collective of three young French men called Obvious, and was put up for sale at auction house Christie’s.
According to TNW, Obvious hadn’t been completely frank about the origins of the print. Previously, the team marketed the piece by saying it was made by “artificial intelligence” that was capable of being “creative.”
Following backlash from the AI-assisted art community, Obvious tweaked its tune. Essentially, the collective leveraged 19-year-old AI enthusiast Robbie Barrat’s open-source technology, fed it with public domain images from Wikimedia Commons, and then picked their favorite.
The technology and effort came from someone else, but the “painting” somehow fetched nearly half a million dollars.
Barrat isn’t sure what to feel about others profiting handsomely off his work. “Does anyone else care about this? Am I crazy for thinking that they really just used my network and are selling the results?”
It isn’t unusual for artists to find that their creations have been copied by others, but the notion seems to have transcended to the AI sphere, which is a little worrisome.
left: the "AI generated" portrait Christie's is auctioning off right now— Robbie Barrat (@DrBeef_) October 25, 2018
right: outputs from a neural network I trained and put online *over a year ago*.
Does anyone else care about this? Am I crazy for thinking that they really just used my network and are selling the results? pic.twitter.com/wAdSOe7gwz
Here's the code to the network they copied. If any of you guys want to make a quick $10,000 from my work, now is the perfect time. https://t.co/V7iCHvL1Dt— Robbie Barrat (@DrBeef_) October 25, 2018
bonus: here's a thread where Caselles (A member of the said "art collective") is bothering me about my pre-trained models on github, and asking for help getting them working. If this isn't suggestive that they used my models i really don't know what is. https://t.co/3e2IcQUyEh— Robbie Barrat (@DrBeef_) October 25, 2018
[via TNW, images via various sources]
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