Christie's Has Auctioned Off Its First Piece of AI Art for $432,500

Portrait by AI program sells for $432,000

Renowned auction house Christie's sold the first piece of art created by an algorithm for $432,500.

"Portrait of Edmond Belamy", the first ever piece of Artificial Intelligence (AI)-generated art to be auctioned off at Christie's in NY, was sold Thursday for 432,500 US dollars to an anonymous bidder.

Originally "Portrait of Edmond Bellamy" was estimated at 7-10 thousand dollars (460-660 thousand), however in the auction the amount has increased 45 - fold to 432,5 thousand dollars (about 28.5 million), reports Tape.

The Old Masters-like portrait, a blurry face of a European man of indistinct origin, is the brainchild of the Paris-based Obvious Collective - and an algorithm. Edmond was created by inputting 15,000 portraits scanning the 14th to the 20th centuries through the algorithms.

The AI algorithm here uses the image set fed to it to learn and generates a new image based on this dataset.

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For now, showers should hold off until the night, potentially lingering into Thursday . Wednesday is partly cloudy and even milder too! Today's high will be in the low 50s.

The French collective selected 11, calling them the "Belamy family", one of which on Thursday fetched US$432,500 at Christie's in NY, the epicenter of the traditional art market. And the funds produced by the auction will go to Obvious. Hugo Caselles Dupre, one of the members of Obvious had learnt about Adversarial Neural Network (ANN) during his PhD in machine learning. The algorithm comprises two major components, the Generator and the Discriminator.

An anonymous bidder on the phone bought the work. If we knew we were going to have 400 press articles on what we do, we most definitely wouldn't have done that. Fautrel insists that it is art since they decided to make it even if algorithm created it.

"There's no financial expert or analyst in the world that can tell me my income for the next 10 years", Huxley, who teaches at the Royal Academy of Arts, said.

Since the story about Belamy hit the mainstream, Obvious has tried to give credit to Barrat and Goodfellow, but the greater AI art community has scorned them as being amateurs who lucked out with someone else's code.

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