Tech Blog

AI Art – Can Algorithms Be Creative and Are They Valuable?

The First AI produced Art Lot Goes Under the Auction Gavel

Artificial Intelligence, or better known as “AI” is a current trend; yet it’s something the general public doesn’t quite understand. Hollywood films have created a stigma against AI and robots, believing that it can one-day threaten human jobs – even human existence. The reality is, that AI and BPU Holding’s Artificial Emotional Intelligence (AEI) are far from Hollywood portrayals. In fact, it’s the opposite. AI and AEI go hand-in-hand to create products and services that assist individuals. AI software can even learn and create. A French art collective, Generative Adversarial Network, did just that with AI art.

A dataset of 15,000 portraits done between the 14 th and 20 th Centuries were fed into an AI generator whose intent was to be able to analyze a painting’s authenticity by differentiating if it was created by a human or machine. Not only was it able to distinguish the difference between human made art, it eventually was able to create new works on its own from a learned training set.

Christie’s auction house has allocated a single AI art lot to their fall Prints and Multiples sale this October 2018, in New York. The artist, ironically named Obvious Art’s 𝒎𝒊𝒏 𝑮 𝒎𝒂𝒙 𝑫 𝔼𝒙 [𝒍𝒐𝒈 𝑫 (𝒙))] + 𝔼𝒛 [𝒍𝒐𝒈(𝟏 − 𝑫(𝑮(𝒛)))], with title Portrait of Edmond de Belamy, 2018 will be the first AI art lot in history to be recognized and sold in a major auction house. With an estimate of $7,000-$10,000 USD, the print on canvas is scheduled to be offered under the hammer on October 23-25.

Edmond De Belamy
Image Source :
“Have we ever imagined that creativity could come from a machine? It’s not just inspiration from the past, but actual new pieces”.


The conceptual artists behind Obvious say, “…the more we’ve explained what we’re doing, what we want to share, and what we want to say, the more the art world is paying attention to our work. We really believe that AI can be a new tool for art”. says Caselles-Dupre. What does this mean for AI and the art world?

Validation. Christie’s recognizes the importance of expanding the possibilities of technology and art inventions on a global platform. Art has no boundaries in terms of medium, artist, performance pieces, concepts, and even humans. The art world observes and supports taking measures to closing the gap between the fine art world, art market, and technology. This past July, Christie’s held an ‘Art + Tech Summit’ in London to discuss blockchain to alleviate the tedious process of unregulated private sales and fine art transactions.

Art Collector’s are also piquing interest on machine produced art. Contemporary Art Collector, Nicolas Laugero-Lasserre, bought a similar work by Obvious, privately. Purchased from the Generative Adversarial Network for a healthy $12,000 USD earlier this year, he understands the creativity element to the AI’s creative process.

As a previous employee at Sotheby’s Auction House, and now Content Curator for an Artificial Emotional Intelligence company at BPU Holdings, I envisioned the merge between fine art and technology early on. AI taps into many industries – if not all. Sotheby’s having acquired a smaller AI company earlier this year also legitimizes the way the fine art world can use AI to help recognize the buying and selling patterns of their clients. Not only can AI and AEI support e-commerce, but it’s now able to create and become the artist itself. It will be interesting to see how the public will value Obvious Art’s print next month, with this new AI artist.

Reference :
Rea, N. (2018, August 20). Is the Art Market Ready to Embrace Work Made by Artificial Intelligence? Christie’s Will Test the Waters this Fall.
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Rea, N. (2018, April 3). Why One Collector Bought a Work of Art Made by Artificial Intelligence – and Is Open to Acquiring More.
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About Author:

Allison Kang, Content Curator at Bpu holdings.