7 of the Most Important AI Artists That Are Defining the Genre

AI art is the new kid on the block when it comes to art genres. Here are seven of its leading lights.
Christopher McFadden

AI art is taking the world by storm. For some, it is seen as a threat to more traditional art genres, but is this fear unfounded?

Here we explore what is meant by AI art and highlight seven flesh and blood artists who use AI, machine learning, GANs, and algorithms to create stunning pieces of art. 


What are some examples of AI art?

If you are looking for some interesting, and thought-provoking, examples of AI art, then make sure you check out some of the following. Coming from a variety of backgrounds, these artists are creating waves in the art scene with their AI-generated artwork. 

1. Sougwen Chung uses AI, robots and her own skill to create works of art


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〰️ ecologies of becoming with 〰️ 

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Sougwen Chung is a visionary artist who likes to collaborate with AI, and robots, to create stunning pieces of art. 

"Sougwen Chung is an award-winning artist who uses hand and technologically-reproduced marks to explore communication between people and machines." - aiartists.org. 

Chung uses both her own hand and robots to "address the closeness between person-to-person and person-to-machine communication." She was a former researcher at MIT Media Lab who decided to go it alone as an Artist in Resident at Bells Labs and New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York. 

She and her machine's work is incredibly beautiful and very thought-provoking. 

2. Memo Akten is another visionary AI artist

Memo Akten is a London-based AI artist, researchers and "philomath" who uses AI to reflect on how we, as humans, make sense of the world. His body of work is astounding in its depth and breadth.

One example, though there are many,  is called "Deep Meditations." For this piece, a one-hour long immersive film, he trained a neural network to "see" images that represent some essential concepts of human life. 

Using a stock of images that he tagged as things like everything, world, universe, space, mountains, etc, the AI was left to its own devices to create its own representations of these terms. The results need to be seen to be believed

3. Mario Klingemann is another great AI artist

Mario Klingemann is yet another leading pioneer in AI art. Using neural networks, code, and algorithms, he creates amazing pieces of artwork.

One of his pieces, "Memories of Passersby I,"  made the news headlines a few years back when it became one of the first AI art pieces to sell at auction. 

In 2015 he won the Creative Award of the British Library. Currently, he is also a machine learning artist in residence at the Google Cultural Institute in Paris.

4. Refik Anadol is a Turkish AI artist with a twist

Turkish AI artist Refik Anadol is another important and interesting AI artist. He uses machine learning (ML) to produce interactive AI projects that inspire audiences around the world. 

He tends to focus on transforming architectural spaces, and facades, into giant canvasses for his live media AI-driven art. One of his most recent works involved using ML and years of footage from the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s archives to produce a dynamic, and evolving video-art piece projected on the outside of the building.

5.  Helena Sarin uses GAN's to create stunning art pieces

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Stacked Characters, the eternal architecture #latentDoodles #neuralBricolage #generativeart #folkAIArt

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Helena Sarin is another pioneering AI artist whose weapon of choice is GANs. She is a self-declared visual artist and software engineer who loves to play with cutting edge technologies wherever she can find them. 

"She found that working with generative models is not only challenging but above all exhilarating. With GANs, there is the adventure of new models and new datasets." - aiartists.org.

6. Gene Kogan is yet another pioneering AI artist

Artist and programmer Gene Kogan is another important AI artist. He is also a leading educator in the field of creative AI. 

He is best known for his work on creating the world's first decentralized autonomous artist. Kogan is mainly interested in generative systems, computer science, and software for creativity and self-expression.

7. Mike Tyka is a Google Engineer and AI artist

Mike Tyka, a Google engineer, helped to popularise neural networks as an artistic medium. He was the man behind some of the first large-scale art pieces generated by DeepDream.

"Tyka co-founded the Artists and Machine Intelligence (AMI) program at Google which supports artists in the field of machine learning and spurs activity in creative AI." - aiartists.org. 

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