What Happens When You Let A Neural Net “Curate” Art

The question of whether life imitates art is a philosophical one, posed most notably by Oscar Wilde in a 1891 essay promoting Romanticism over Realism. But ask a computer, and it will inevitably take the rationalist approach: what does the data have to say? That’s the premise of Recognition, a computer program created for the Tate’s IK Prize, a digital art competition held by the Tate and Microsoft which asked designers to use AI to explore the art in the gallery’s collection. It uses several types of machine learning to match art in the Tate’s extensive British art collection to photos of current events from Reuters. By analyzing both visual and thematic similarities between two images, Recognition can come up with a fine art doppelganger to any event or figure…

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