Artworks made by humans have been known to sell for huge sums, the most expensive on record costing almost half a billion dollars.
Now, an artwork made by an artificially intelligent program has joined in on the action. It recently sold at an auction for $432,000 (£337,000).
The original estimates put on it by Christie’s in New York before the sale was way modest, just within the $7,000-$10,000
The painting, called Portrait of Edmond Belamy, was created by a Paris-based art collective called Obvious.
The artwork was produced using an algorithm and a data set of 15,000 portraits painted between the 14th and 20th Centuries.
To generate the image, the algorithm compared its own work to those in the data set until it could not tell them apart.
ALSO READ: Three Master Strength Workouts to Try
The portrait is the first piece of AI art to go under the hammer at a major auction house. The sale attracted a significant amount of media attention.
‘AI is just one of several technologies that will have an impact on the art market of the future – although it is far too early to predict what those changes might be,’ said Christie’s specialist Richard Lloyd, who organised the sale.
Might the price tag have been a result of the present fascination with AI and not any indication of the artistic capacity or integrity of the actual artwork? Time will tell with more such projects being carried out.
What is clear is that the art world may have to make room for a whole new set of artworks, provenance wise.