The Computerized Art Critic

from the first-chess,-now-art... dept

Well, it’s now been established that computers can, in certain situations, beat the very best chess players in the world. Now, they’re moving on to another arena previously held onto by an elite group of human experts: determining the authenticity of a piece of artwork. New computer systems are being developed (similar to computerized chess systems) that use their ability to comprehend thousands of different attributes among many different paintings to come up with information about what makes certain paintings more or less likely to be by a certain artist. Of course, it sounds like most people involved still don’t want these systems to be coming out with a final vote – but, rather are focused on using them to suggest places for further exploration (such as pointing out a specific difference in features between a certain painting and others by the same artist). This may have something to do with an increasingly litigious art world, where lawsuits have been filed by painting owners who weren’t happy to have someone suggest the painting they owned was not by the person they thought it was. Still, this raises the same question we asked a few weeks ago in a post about selling fraudulent artwork on eBay: shouldn’t a painting be judged on its quality, rather than who created it?

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