Robbie Barrat: Auction portrait painters took my code, says whizzkid

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The sale marked the very first time that a major auction house sold a work of art that was created by artificial intelligence.

The final price of the painting was almost 45 times higher than the US$7,000 to US$10,000 estimate put by the major auction house.

Artificial intelligence, as used by Paris-based collective Obvious, made six figures at auction on Thursday.

It is a brainchild of a French collective obvious, whose primary aim is to use the principles of AI to democratize art. 'On one side is the Generator, on the other the Discriminator. It was produced using an algorithm and a data set of 15,000 portraits painted between the 14th and 20th Centuries. Then a "Discriminator" looks at the result and tries to work out if the image has been painted by a human or created by the Generator. One of the members, Hugo Caselles-Dupré, discovered the Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) class of algorithms while working on his Ph.D.in machine learning.

"I think that's what happens when you are doing something and nobody cares, then you're just goofing around and you are really inconsistent.For us it was just a amusing way to talk about it".

Humans are becoming more and more redundant thanks to advancements in AI.

"Portrait of Edmond de Belamy" in NY. "It must also surely be the case that portraiture is an extremely tough genre for AI to take on, since humans are highly attuned to the curves and complexities of a face in a way that a machine can not be", Christie's said.

Update 5pm CT, Oct. 26: In an email to the Daily Dot and other news outlets, Obvious wrote that the collective "made a point" to credit other people who are using GAN before the auction, including Barrat and Ian Goodfellow, who created the GAN algorithm. Combined, those prices are half of what the bot art went for at the end of the seven-minute bidding process. Obvious used a "scraper' program to collect images from Wikiart to train its neural net and create warped versions that imitated the style of the originals".

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