AI-generated painting sells at auction for $432,500

An AI-generated painting was sold at the Christie’s Prints and Multiples art auction in New York for $432,500, which took place on 23-25 October.

The piece is called the Portrait of Edmond Belamy, and it is the first artwork made entirely by artificial intelligence to go up for sale at a major auction.

The painting was expected to only sell for between $7,000 and $10,000, making the $432,500 haul nearly 45 times its high estimate.

The algorithm the AI used was developed by a Paris-based art collective called Obvious Art, which is known as a Generative Adversarial Network (GAN).

The algorithm was fed around 15,000 portraits painted between the 14th and 20th centuries, which a Generator portion of the algorithm used as a basis to start creating its own images.

The Discriminator – another part of the algorithm – then determined the difference between the human-made art and that produced by the Generator. This process continued until the Discriminator could no longer tell the works apart.

This portrait was one in 11 portraits created by the AI, and Obvious Art is selling the other portraits for 10,000 euros each on its website.

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AI-generated painting sells at auction for $432,500