New age of ‘artificial’ artists
BY wangxingwei from 21st Century
Published 2018-09-21

Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso and Leonardo da Vinci ... the art world has never lacked talent. And now, a new painter is ready to join the list, although this one isn’t even human.

Next month, auction house Christie’s Prints and Multiples will make history by offering the first piece of art created by artificial intelligence for sale. The painting is a portrait of a man called Edmond De Belamy, and is expected to be sold for up to $10,000 (69,000 yuan).
佳士得拍卖行的“Prints and Multiples”拍卖活动将于下月创造历史,出售首幅由人工智能(AI)创作的画作。该画作是一位名为爱德蒙·贝拉米的男子的肖像画,估价高达1万美元(约合69000元人民币)。

The work, which features a man with a mysterious look on his face, was created by software developed by the French art group Obvious. Laugero-Lasserre, an art collector from France, called the work “grotesque and amazing at the same time”. This isn’t the first example of AI-produced artwork, as AI has already been used to write poems and compose songs. However, many people doubt whether it should be called art at all.
画中男子的朦胧神态由法国艺术团体Obvious 所开发的软件创作而成。来自法国的艺术收藏家Laugero-Lasserre 称这幅画作“怪诞却又奇妙”。这并非AI创作的首个艺术作品,先前AI已经被用于作诗作曲。然而,不少人都质疑这些作品是否应该被称为艺术。

According to Russian writer Leo Tolstroy (1828-1910), art is about creating emotion. It’s “a means of … joining people together in the same feelings”, he once said.

So, if the emotion behind art is what makes it, the ability to create and use tools is what makes human beings different from other species. And as a tool itself, the AI technology used to create the portrait is the result of a lot of effort made by several designers. Together, they “fed” the AI a huge collection of paintings from the 14th to the 18th centuries, until it was able to work out how to make similar paintings of its own.

The introduction of AI art could be the beginning of a new artistic movement. However, not everyone is ready to welcome these high-tech artists just yet.

“The human mind is what’s behind the AI technology. And the human mind is not a cold, hard fact,” Oscar Schwartz, a professor of AI, said during a TedX Sydney speech. “Rather, it is something that’s created with our opinions and something that changes over time.”
“AI技术的背后是人类的头脑。但人类的头脑并非由冷冰冰的客观事实组成,”AI教授奥斯卡·施瓦辛在一场TedX Sydney的演讲中说道。“而是由我们的观点以及会随着时间流逝而发生变化的事物所组成。”

(Translator & Editor: Wang Xingwei AND Ji Yuan)
Artificial intelligence  人工智能,AI
Software  软件
Grotesque  怪诞的
Compose  作曲