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Art created by AIcourtesy of Rutgers

People chose AI-made artwork over actual Art Basel pieces

Scientists created a program that’s able to make creative, supposedly good pieces without help from humans

We’ve learnt in the last few years that AI can be arty as fuck: those hallucinogenic DeepDream pics, the AI that made questionably attractive paint colours. Now, research has shown that bots are better at making art than creatives at Art Basel, and even Andy Warhol.

A study by researchers at Rutgers University’s Art and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory used algorithms developed to measure creativity in art history and study artistic influence, as Hyperallergic reports. Created back in 2015, the bots were trained using 80,000 images of art, and were able to successfully identify genre, style and specific artists - it can tell you if a piece in landscape or portrait, surrealist or Renaissance. For 2017, the scientists have created a new system for the bots to role play as artists in an attempt to showcase creativity without human interaction.

“We conducted experiments to compare the response of human subjects to the generated art with their response to art created by artists,” Ahmed Elgammal, Bingchen Liu, Mohamed Elhoseiny, and Marian Mazzone wrote in the new research paper. “The results show that human subjects could not distinguish art generated by the proposed system from art generated by contemporary artists and shown in top art fairs.” Basically, this AI is making some waves in the art world.

Putting it to the test, researchers surveyed 18 people: they used artworks created by AI, alongside 50 images by humans, half by Abstract Expressionists and the other half displayed at 2016’s Art Basel. Participants in the study mostly preferred the artworks created by machines, with the majority guessing that the Art Basel pieces were executed by bots.

The Creative Adversarial Network, as it’s known, first took inspiration from the 80,000 images fed to it by researchers. The works were Western pieces predominantly from the 15th to 20th century. Once it got a sense of style, scientists programmed it to get creative.

According to a blog by researchers, people took bot-made art for the real deal 75 percent of the time, and 85 percent of the time for the Abstract Expressionist pieces. The collection of works included Andy Warhol, Leonardo Drew, David Smith and more.

Participants rated artworks on how visually appealing they were, inspiring, intent and whether they had a message.

“It might be debatable what a higher score in each of these scales actually means,” Elgammal told Hyperallergic. “However, the fact that subjects found the images generated by the machine intentional, visually structured, communicative, and inspiring, with similar, or even higher levels, compared to actual human art, indicates that subjects see these images as art!”

The researchers involved in the study told press that they had received offers from private collectors wishing to buy the bot-created pieces, and galleries had contacted them about potential exhibitions.

We look forward to a world run by robots after AI surpasses and dominates the human race, speaking a language borne from bots, living in a world adorned by freaky and great AI art.