Artificial Intelligence Is Creating a New Breed of Artists and Artwork

Luba Elliott breaks down the future of the art world as it welcomes a new player, artificial intelligence.
Donovan Alexander

The term artist has broadened over the years paralleling emerging technology. In fact, since the industrial revolution, ever major technical advancement has either facilitated the "artist's medium" or become a subject of discussion for the artist itself.


Recently, the internet birthed the digital artist, creators who used the world wide web as their canvas. Today, the rise of the artificial intelligence artist has brought about new ways to create art and new exciting forms of art through the power of algorithms. 

To help us navigate this new frontier, Curator & Researcher Luba Elliot broke down some of the more impressive artists emerging out the realms of artificial intelligence during Day 2 of Amsterdam's TNW festival. From new forms of painting to full-on creative interactive experiences, Luba excitedly shows this new and developing world in art. 

AI Creating Art  

You might not know much about art but you are probably well aware of the AI program that sold a painting titled “Portrait of Edmond de Belamy” that was auctioned off by Christie's for over $430,000. In an odd way, it seemed as if the AI program was "expressing itself" through the painting almost reminiscent of an impressionist painting. Yet, any software engineer will tell you that this "art" is generated using relatively simple open-source code. So, how does AI generate art? 

Though various forms of AI creation have appeared over the years, AI art is typically created using generative adversarial networks or what is known as a GAN. In short, GAN is comprised of two machine intelligences working against each other to create one final piece of art, dubbed the generator and the discriminator. 

GAN is fed large amounts of data. The generator then processes it to create random objects, colors, and shapes, while the discriminator takes these shapes, colors, and objects and matches them to artistic images that exist within the data set. These two conflicting parts merge to create one final form of art. Think of it combining the analytical left brain with the more creative right to create your very own art piece. 

View this post on Instagram

Setting up my new "Interstitial Space" installation for the Art-AI Festival in Leicester #artai #aiart

A post shared by Mario Klingemann (@quasimondo) on

Mario Klingermann center's around reinterpreting the human body using this GAN technique. Even the Christies's artwork above was created using GAN. 

AI as a Tool for Artist  

Artists are constantly looking for new tools to extend their creative vision. According to Luba Elliot a lot of artists see AI as simply a tool that artists can use to augment and enhance their pieces. Machine learning allows artists to explore new frontiers, that would otherwise be impossible.  

View this post on Instagram

Such a lovely opening last night at @hekbasel for “Entangled Realities”

A post shared by annaridler (@annaridler) on

Artists like Anna Ridler use AI to create stunning videos of blooming tulips, chosen by AI from her thousands of photos of the flower. While artist Ross Goodwin used AI to create fiction, poetry, and screenplays via an algorithm that predicts language patterns.