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Last month a painting entitled “Portrait of Edmond Belamy”, a real-life painting created by AI technology developed by a French collective called Obvious was sold for $AU611,676.

Pierre Fautrel, co-founder of Oblivious and the “Portrait of Edmond Belamy” (Image: Google)

The portrait is part of a series of 11, all featuring different members of the fictitious Belamy family.

In 2016, two whole years ago, AI technology was responsible for writing an entire script for a short film, entitled “Sunspring”. Filmmaker Ross Goodwin conceived the film, and you can watch clips from the movie with commentary from The New York Times here.

Sunspring, the movie. (Image: Google)

Meanwhile, in Mars, InSight Mars Lander – a bot that has been sent out to space to check out what’s going on in Mars – landed and sent his humans on Earth a couple of selfies – which would, technically, make AI also a photographer:

(Image: Google)

(Image: Google)

So, it’s pretty clear, and we get it: technology is doing it all when it comes to our creative human skills. The question we all secretly (or not) ask ourselves is: should we be scared?

We don’t think so. Sci-fi movies would have you believe that machines are out to get us and that they can dominate our world and enslave our people. We don’t think getting rid of humans is this simple as we believe humans have the power to use technology to design preferred and desirable futures.

The current technological scenario and its progression point to AI to continue to better itself, and to continue to contribute to society with art in many forms, but humans will still be part of the process. Ahmed Elgammal, director of the Art and Artificial Intelligence Lab at Rutgers University in New Jersey, seems to agree. In an interview to Christies.com, Elgammal said about AI art:

“Yes, if you look just at the form, and ignore the things that art is about, then the algorithm is just generating visual forms and following aesthetic principles extracted from existing art. But if you consider the whole process, then what you have is something more like conceptual art than traditional painting. There is a human in the loop, asking questions, and the machine is giving answers. That whole thing is the art, not just the picture that comes out at the end. You could say that at this point it is a collaboration between two artists — one human, one a machine. And that leads me to think about the future in which AI will become a new medium for art.”

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Rani Ghazzaoui Luke

Rani is a writer and actor based in Sydney, Australia. She is Echos Head of Content & Communications, and the Editor in Chief of The Echos Newsletter.

Before joining Echos, she worked in full-service advertising agencies as a copywriter, moved onto writing for Broadcast Media, and landed on Digital Media, working first as a Digital Producer and later as a Digital Account Manager. Most recently, she was Lead Client Solutions Manager for GumGum Inc, an ad tech company specialised in Artificial Intelligence.

Rani is a highly curious individual that believes creativity and innovation are the most important tools to propel any person or business forward.

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