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Transformation of all the artists’ work of art with AI.

ARTIFICIAL Intelligence (AI) has a big potential to transform all industries, and it is expected to contribute US$15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030.

AI and machine learning technologies are revolutionising the way various industries such as mobile, banking, transportation, access and process data to become smarter and more efficient.

Recently, another industry has jumped into the AI bandwagon – Art.

Just last year, a New York-based auction house, Christie’s sold a painting generated by an algorithm for US$432,500, 45 times higher than its estimated value.

Titled ‘Portrait of Edmond Belamy’, the picture was “painted” by Obvious, a Paris-based collective of artists, machine learning researchers and friends interested in AI for Art. Obvious uses a computer to program algorithms and codes, feeding over 15,000 portraits dating between the 14th and 20th century for the AI to create a unique renaissance-like portrait.

According to Women Techmakers Kuala Lumpur, actress Kristen Stewart (of “Twilight” fame) recently co-authoured a machine learning paper on using AI techniques to redraw video frames of the new movie she is directing. She is using these techniques to provide special effects in the style of an Impressionist painting in the upcoming movie “Come Swim”.

In art speak, a pastiche is defined as an artistic work in a style that imitates that of another work, artist, or period (e.g. drawing your cat in the style of Van Gogh). With AI, Women Techmakers said there is no need to spend hours drawing pastiches, as a computer model can also be taught how to do this and programmatically draw art.

The non-profit organisation also said this technique is known as style transfer and is done using neural networks (computer algorithms modelled on the human brain).

“How this works is by feeding an artist’s painting (style image) as an input into the model, so the model can learn the artist’s style, and apply it to a content image to create the types of blended output images (the stylised image).

“You may have seen apps with a filter that transforms your photos in the style of Van Gogh’s ‘A Starry Night’. However, this application of neural style transfer is not a simple filter, instead, it algorithmically redraws the entire content image.”

For International Women’s Day 2019, Women Techmakers is collaborating with local female artists to celebrate their work and create experimental forms of art based on AI models. The artists are Nini Marini, Poesy Liang, Khairunissa Zainal Abidin, Elissa, and I am May.

This will culminate in the community’s International Women’s Day Celebration on March 30, where they will teach participants how to execute this technique programmatically based on the artists’ works of art.

Meanwhile, the programmer who coded the pieces of art based on the style of the artists is Qamra Jema Khan, who is also the current lead of Women Techmakers Kuala Lumpur.

Women Techmakers is a program supported by Google which offers visibility, community and resources for women in technology. There are chapters all around the world, and Women Techmakers Kuala Lumpur is also supported by Google Developer Group Kuala Lumpur.

Those wishing to join can approach the community on their Facebook page.

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