The Ultimate AI Masterpiece

This week, BMW debuted The Ultimate AI Masterpiece, which is described as a melding of art and technology which uses artificial intelligence to generate new works. The art exhibit is a virtual one, and debuts with Frieze New York 2021 in addition to the 50th anniversary of BMW Group Cultural Development.

The process starts with a dataset, or collection of art, which is analyzed by AI to use as a basis for envisioning what something new might look like. BMW also worked with Seoul-based modern art collector Gary Yeh, who selected works to be processed by AI for the project. As for the canvas, BMW used what many consider to be the best model currently on sale by the brand, the 8 Series Gran Coupé. The end result is a new version of BMW art car, but with no single artist responsible for the design.

“AI is an emerging medium of creative expression. It’s a fascinating space where art meets algorithm,” said Nathan Shipley, director of creative technology, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. “Combining the historical works with the curated modern works and projecting the evolving images onto the 8 Series Gran Coupe serves a direct nod to BMW’s history of uniting automobiles, art, and technology.”

The Ultimate AI Masterpiece

“During an unusually isolated time in history, we took the opportunity to curate and work with artists from around the world as a means to give viewers a true art experience digitally,” said Gary Yeh, art collector and founder of ArtDrunk. It was particularly exciting to push the boundaries of art, see how technology may influence the art world in the years to come, and build on 50 years of cultural engagement at BMW.”

One might think mixing so many ideas together might yield a proverbial palette of homogenous paint, but the designs projected onto the skin of a virtual 8 Series Gran Coupé are anything but, each with a compelling and different look that could only be envisioned by a computer. More specifically, the software used was Nvidia’s StyleGAN artificial intelligence model, which cross-referenced more than 50,000 images of artwork originating from 900 years of human history, in addition to 50 works from contemporary artists BMW has worked with over the past 50 years. Check out the video below to see how it all came together.—Alex Tock

[Photos and video courtesy BMW AG.]



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