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AI paintings, questions of ownership, and the Internet of Art Things

The world art market has been thrown into some turbulence by the record $432,500 paid at auction for a portrait generated by a machine learning algorithm. It has also provoked controversy within the AI community over ownership, attribution and originality, although these concerns do look like red herrings. True to form in the AI trend, the painting was heavily oversold amid media hype and as a result beat the auction house estimated range of $7,000 to $10,000 by about 45x. The portrait of a fictional character from antiquity, Edmond de Belamy, was created by Obvious, an AI studio in Paris, run by three 25-year-old researchers Hugo Caselles-Dupré, Pierre Fautrel, and Gauthier Vernier. It uses a type of neural network-based machine…

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