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An AI generated portrait was sold at an auction at a whopping price of $432,000. The portrait painted using artificial intelligence sold at Christie’s in new york for $432,000 which is over 40 times the initial estimate — to an anonymous bidder.

AI generated portrait
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The AI generated portrait depicts a slightly blurry, chubby man in a dark frock-coat and white collar.

Its estimated cost was between $7, 000 and $10, 000. The portrait is the first piece of AI artwork to go under the hammer in a significant auction house at this price.

AI generated portrait
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The artwork was created using an algorithm and a data set of 15, 000 portraits painted between the 14th and 20th Centuries.

The painting, known as portrait of Edmond Belamy was made by Paris-based art collective Obvious.

The portrait was made with ink, canvas, and artificial intelligence algorithm and was signed with a mathematics equation.

The signature on the painting is the actual algorithm used to create it.

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Beyond the fact that it was made using an archive of historical paintings, the portrait has come under critical study regarding the technology it uses.

Other artists who work with AI have said that the portrait is not original. Generative adversarial networks, or GAN, the technology used to create the portraits, were utilized by artists within the last three decades, including by the artists Mario Kleemann, Anna Ridler, and Robbie Barrat.

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Barrat has gone as far as to state that this particular work uses the code that he composed. Later on, it was clarified by Obvious that it did use Barat’s code but it was modified.

“We’d want to thank the AI community, particularly to those who have been pioneering the use of this new technology, including Ian Goodfellow, the creator of the GAN algorithm, and artist Robbie Barrat, who has been a great influence for us,” Obvious said in its announcement.

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The goal of the painting and of Obvious, was to prove that artificial intelligence may do more than just operating driverless cars or transform manufacturing.


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