It is difficult to measure the impact of art investment, both in our economies and in our society. It is not because there is no data available, however, it is not just a question of the figures provided by the auction houses, but the economic impact goes much further, as the sector is attracting increasing interest from wealth advisors, financial advisors, family offices, investment funds, cultural institutions, insurance companies, etc.
It is usual to find communities that live relatively outside the art world, being a sector restricted to the interest of a few investors who make their decisions strongly influenced by an emotional and cultural factor.
However, at this time where progress in Artificial Intelligence (AI) has reached a greater understanding, a younger part of society is awakening a great interest in art, through technology. Thus, I ask myself, if perhaps, this will be the that the art sector needs to be promoted and democratized.
The term AI was introduced by computer scientist John McCarthy in 1955. Like Alan Turing, he believed that computers would eventually be able to impersonate humans.
Nowadays, AI has been integrated into our way of life almost without us realizing it, like the recommendations of any Marketplace, Netflix, or search engines like Google Maps, etc.
In the case of art, its relationship with technology goes back centuries, but integration is a relatively recent phenomenon.
In the mid-twentieth century, artists and scientists began to explore the possibilities of using computers in creative processes. However, it is in recent decades that AI has enabled new forms of artistic expression, and the issue has gained popularity since August 2018 when a work made by artificial intelligence was auctioned for the first time at Christie’s: Portrait of Edmond de Belamy (2018) was sold after more than six minutes of bidding for 380,000 euros. Shortly after, the same happened with Memories of Bystanders (2019) by Mario Klingemann, auctioned at Sotheby’s for €46,450.
Today, the relevant role of AI in the art market is already indisputable and the future promises a rich and complex interaction between technology and artistic expression, which will include more collaborations between artists and AI developers, but not only this, we will see further integration of AI tools in art education, which help students explore new possibilities and broaden their creative horizons, a new inverse experience where artworks dynamically respond to the viewer’s emotions, creating deeply personalized encounters with art and a potential growth in the use of blockchain that may include not only NFTs but also algorithms in valuations, fraud…etc.
It is true, and I do not want to forget, that all this, leads us to face some ethical considerations, which will need to be addressed, as AI becomes more deeply integrated into the art world, questions about authorship, ownership, and impact of AI in traditional artistic roles.
“Today, the relevant role of AI in the art market is already indisputable and the future promises a rich and complex interaction between technology and artistic expression.”
Without wanting to go into too much detail, about the most technical part of the AI – since I am not an expert on it, I think, it is interesting, to understand and mention some of the key methods and codes, some of them more familiar than others:
- Generative Artificial Intelligence (GAN), by which the generator creates new content, such as images or text, while the discriminator evaluates the quality of the generated content.
- RNNs are used for sequence-based data, making them suitable for creating art that involves a temporal element, such as music or sequential images. TensorFlow and PyTorch provide suitable neural network implementations for them.
- Evolutionary algorithms simulate the process of natural selection to develop solutions to a problem. In art, this could involve the evolution of images or forms according to a set of criteria. Various libraries in Python, such as DEAP (Distributed Evolutionary Algorithms in Python), can also be used to implement evolutionary algorithms for art generation.
- Neuroevolution combines neural networks and evolutionary algorithms. The NEAT (NeuroEvolution of Augmented Topologies) algorithm is a popular choice for neuroevolution.
- Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are used to represent ownership of digital assets, including digital art. Blockchain technology guarantees the transparency and immutability of property records. Ethereum is a popular blockchain platform for creating NFTs. Smart contract languages like Solidity are used to define the rules of NFTs.
- DeepDream is a computer vision algorithm developed by Google that uses neural networks to find and enhance patterns in images. It results in surreal images.
“At Artiaplace, we wanted to contribute by having a representation of Spanish art in Luxembourg with two exhibitions: one with my own paintings, at the INNSiDE hotel, and the other of the artist Esther Moreno, at the Meliá hotel in Kirchberg.”
The choice of method will depend on the desired outcome. The key is to choose the correct AI tools, without thinking, that it is the end of human creativity, but only just a beginning, where technologies are not going to replace humans, but rather make them more productive.
In Luxembourg, we had a frenetic last quarter of the year, regarding the art sector. The art fair kicked off on November 10, Deloitte art and finance conference, the presentation of the innovative project of Artex , exhibition openings, conferences, etc. We haven’t stopped! And interest increases year after year.
At Artiaplace, we wanted to contribute by having a representation of Spanish art in Luxembourg with two exhibitions: one with my own paintings, at the INNSiDE hotel, and the other of the artist Esther Moreno, at the Meliá hotel in Kirchberg. Both exhibitions can be enjoyed until beginning of next year.
From here, I take this opportunity to thank the Official Chamber of Commerce of Spain in Belgium and Luxembourg and Meliá for their support of these initiatives, as well as the Spanish Financial Forum for helping to disseminate it.
We will closely follow up, how all these initiatives, and the new technologies evolve and impact our society and economy.
Merry Christmas to all!