Last week, an artwork created using Artificial Intelligence has been sold for the whopping amount of $432,500 — nearly 45 times its original estimate — as Christie’s becomes the first auction house to offer a work of art generated by an algorithm. Produced by Paris-based collective Obvious, the painting is one of a group of portraits of the fictional Belamy family created with algorithms and data set of more than 15,000 painted portraits between the 14th century to the 20th.
Below is part of the process explain by one of the founder Hugo Caselles-Dupré: “The algorithm is composed of two parts: On one side is the Generator, on the other the Discriminator. We fed the system with a data set of 15,000 portraits painted between the 14th century to the 20th. The Generator makes a new image based on the set, then the Discriminator tries to spot the difference between a human-made image and one created by the Generator. The aim is to fool the Discriminator into thinking that the new images are real-life portraits. Then we have a result.”
The method used by Obvious is known by the acronym GAN, which stands for Generative Adversarial Network.