Art is up AI’s alley. Will traditional artists be replaced?
If you have been mesmerized by the great lighting touch-ups which apps like Adobe’s Photoshop or even your Google Photos gives to images clicked by you, there’s much more in the offing by AI. GANs (generative adversarial network) are being increasingly applied to art or art assistance and allied works such as Face Frontal View Generation, Generating Human Poses, Face Aging, Photo Blending, Photo Inpainting, 3D Object Generation etc. Moving forth, Delhi based Art Gallery Nature Morte held a group show Gradient Descent in as early as 2018 featuring AI artworks. In what was India’s first such exhibit, it aimed to explore how contemporary art can develop a dynamic human-machine relationship. Nature Morte has since then moved on to launch Terrain.art, a blockchain-powered online platform focusing on contemporary art from South Asia.
In the same year the Portrait of Edmond Belamy, an AI artwork, a canvas set in a gold frame was sold by Christie’s for a whopping $432,500. This sale set precedent for artwork made using machine learning. The expected price was pegged between $7000 to $10000 for this AI based work but it clearly had takers. Three French students used GAN to create this artwork. They trained GAN with a dataset of historical portraits post which it created a historical portrait all by itself. The artwork, however, was a subject of great controversy with AI artist R Barrat alleging the code and dataset used for the artwork was written by him.
Sotheby’s too has deep dived into data as is evident from its acquisition of the startup, Thread Genius, a virtual search engine of sorts which harnesses the power of neural networks. It can find similar artworks to streamline art appraisals by locating comparable artworks.
We already discussed how AI can make the dead talk . While St. Petersburg’s Dalí Museum used deepfake technology to create a life-sized deepfake of the artist from his old interviews and uses it to deliver quotes attributed to him, it is only befitting that connoisseurs of art get to see works of their favourite artists again. Dutch draughtsman, painter, and printmaker, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, inspired many of the younger generation. In a tribute of sorts, Microsoft teamed up with financial firm ING, Delft University of Technology and two Dutch art museums to produce 3D printed painting in the style of Rembrandt, in a project titled ‘Next Rembrandt’. There are of course purists who would like to argue that there can only be one and only one Rembrandt and that mimicking his style is not acceptable.
As with the luxury watch industry and the fashion industry, AI is being sought by the art world to detect forged art pieces. If people tend to think of AI as a threat to the artist, they should be rest assured AI will only help augment sales, streamline selling procedures, and be of a collaborative nature with the art world.
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It’s most obvious in the digital media space, from click buys to personalized web experiences. For marketing, the AI journey has just kick-started, while in the tech sector it has been applied for a while now. We are still at an early stage where inroads are being made into AI content via chatbots and even some explanatory content creation but what will make anyone jump up and embrace it is when we will start seeing a lot of mainstream content being created by AI.
Prior to joining Infinite Analytics, Richard served as the CFO of CrowdFlower, COO and CFO of Phoenix Technologies, as a member of the board of directors and chairman of the Audit Committee at Intellisync, and previously as CFO and executive vice president strategy and corporate development at Charles Schwab.
Pravin Gandhi has over 50 years of entrepreneurial operational and investing experience in the IT industry in India. He was a founding partner of the first early stage fund India - INFINITY. Subsequently a founding partner in Seedfund I & II. With over 18 years of investing experience, he is extensively well networked in investment and entrepreneurial scene and is an active early stage angel investor in tech & impact space. Pravin holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Cornell University, and serves on the board of several private corporations in India. He is on the board of SINE, IIT Mumbai Incubator.
Puru has his Masters in Engineering and Management from MIT. Prior to MIT, he worked with Fidelity Investments building electronic trading products and high volume market data processing applications. He has completed his BE from VJTI, Mumbai.
Deb Roy is Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at MIT where he directs the MIT Center for Constructive Communication, and a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School. He leads research in applied machine learning and human-machine interaction with applications in designing systems for learning and constructive dialogue, and for mapping and analyzing large scale media ecosystems. Deb is also co-founder and Chair of Cortico, a nonprofit social technology company that develops and operates the Local Voices Network to surface underheard voices and bridge divides.
Roy served as Executive Director of the MIT Media Lab from 2019-2021. He was co-founder and CEO of Bluefin Labs, a media analytics company that analyzed the interactions between television and social media at scale. Bluefin was acquired by Twitter in 2013, Twitter’s largest acquisition of the time. From 2013-2017 Roy served as Twitter’s Chief Media Scientist.
Erik Brynjolfsson is the Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Professor and Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI (HAI), and Director of the Stanford Digital Economy Lab. He also is the Ralph Landau Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), Professor by Courtesy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Stanford Department of Economics, and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).
Akash co-founded IA while studying for his MBA from MIT. Prior to MIT Sloan, he co-founded Zoonga. Before this, Akash was an engineer with Oracle in Silicon Valley. He has completed his M.S from University of Cincinnati and B.E from the College of Engineering, Pune.