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NFTs and the carbon footprint dilemma

NFTs are disrupting the creative industry by providing artists with a   new medium to sell their work   and even make a profit with subsequent resales. Although this technique has been around for some years already, it is in 2021 when it has started flourishing driven by the new golden era for cryptocurrencies. However, NFTs are being criticized for the carbon emissions they produce. Each transaction is  estimated  to produce  20 kg of CO2   [1]  and there are often multiple transactions connected to a single artwork. Carbon emissions associated to NFTs An individual NFT transaction  does not  directly  increase emissions . As SuperRare points out  [2] , Ethereum's blockchain has a fixed energy consumption at a given point in time regardless on how many transactions are processed. While this statement is technically true, there are at least two ways NFTs are   indirectly  pushing carbon emissions  further  [3] : "More NFT transactions" means more money going to the miners
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Will robots really take our jobs?

  On January 23rd 1812, a group of artisans stormed in a textile workshop in Nottingham (UK). Armed with hammers, they smashed the knitting machines that could produce goods 100 times faster than by hand. Most of them were arrested, sentenced to death and hanged at York Castle. They were   Luddites , a movement of highly skilled textile artisans that in early XIX century were protesting against the increasing use of machines operated by unskilled workers. The fear of machines taking our jobs is nothing new; and we can see the exact same thing happening now amplified by Hollywood movies, which generate a rather negative aura around robots. However, Artificial Intelligence is already bringing huge growth from the new types of goods, services and innovations that this technology enables. Indeed, Gartner  [1]  estimates that AI will generate  $2.9 trillion  in business value in 2021. Does it mean that our jobs will be safe? Not at all. Artificial Intelligence will definitely take many of o

How creative AI techniques became a threat for national security

  In 2014, a 28-year-old American researcher called Ian Goodfellow published a paper called   Generative Adversarial Networks   (GANs) that presented a powerful technique to generate brand new images (i.e., human faces) with Artificial Intelligence. Goodfellow's idea got a lot of attention from the academic and industry communities and new research papers followed improving the state of the art and, as it can be seen in the images below, the perceived quality of the human faces that GANs generated. Needless to say that none of these six people actually exists. However, for the last three ones, only a skilled computer forensic would be able to detect the deception. GANs are making a tremendous positive impact in different domains, such as  healthcare  or in creative industries. Unfortunately, malicious applications of this apparently harmless technique are emerging and posing a thread to our personal and even national security. Scams.  Deep Learning has become a gold mine for crimin

Wall art, poetry, music and even movies: this is how AI is transforming the creative industry

In a   previous article   we discussed how Artificial Intelligence is pushing the boundaries of art, and how collaboration between humans and AI is enriching the creative industries. Although the term " AI Art " is often used to refer to   wall art   made by Artificial Intelligence, the rise of these generative techniques has impacted other artistic domains  such as  music ,  poetry  and even  film . Wall Art.  After a portrait made by AI was  sold at auction  at Christies for almost $500k, we have seen many other digital artists exploring this domain. Some of the most relevant pioneers in this field are  Cueva Gallery  (Ireland),  D'Agostino AI  (France) and, of course, our own gallery  (Norway) ;-) Music.  One of the emerging uses of AI nowadays is the generation of music in collaboration with humans. Two useful resources are  MuseNet  and  Magenta , which are tools that allow you to create your own music with different styles. Poetry . Robot poetry is becom

Is it really "art" what Artificial Intelligence creates?

Cambridge Dictionary defines   art   as " the making of objects, images, music, etc. that are beautiful or that express feelings ". However, defining the boundaries of art has always been controversial. In the early years of photography, many art experts argued that it shouldn't be considered an art form since photography involved mechanical and chemical procedures instead of human hand and spirit. Photographers that attempted to have their images included in the fine arts sections of the exhibitions were responded with criticism in the press and eventual repudiation. Nowadays, photography is considered an art form as valid as any other, with thousands of galleries around the world specialized in  fine art photography . Something similar might be happening now with  AI Art . In 2018, an image created by Artificial Intelligence was  sold for $432500  in an auction at Christie's. The announcement generated a heated debate on press and social media arguing that it should

Who should own the copyright of AI-generated art?

In November 2018, three French students used an open-source algorithm developed by 19-year-old Robbie Barrat to generate  Portrait of Edmond Belamy , which was   sold in auction   at Christie's for $432500. This case sparked a heated debate about who owns the copyright of artworks created by Artificial Intelligence. The expert Jonathan Bailey summarized it well in  this article : " it is a total legal clusterf*ck ". These are the stakeholders that could potentially claim intellectual property rights: The creator of the algorithm.  However, if the code is released with  MIT license , it allows anyone to use it even for commercial purposes. The artists whose works were used to train the AI.  However, if the artists have died more than 70 years ago, their artworks automatically become  public domain   in Europe  and in many other countries. That is why most AI artists only include paintings from centuries ago in their training datasets. The machine itself.  The US copyright gallery of art made by Artificial Intelligence

In August 2019 I launched ,  an online gallery where you can buy works of art created by Artificial Intelligence, nicely printed in canvas and shipped anywhere. The value that provides to the customers (individuals and businesses) is the uniqueness of each work of art, because we guarantee that only one copy will ever be sold. AI Art has become a very exclusive trend, with just a few specialized artists. Perhaps that is why the auction of an artwork reached $432k in Christie's in 2018. The art generation technique is called Generative Adversarial Networks , and it enables machines to learn different painting styles and patterns from real artists by analyzing their paintings. I adapted multiple open-source algorithms , and collected a training dataset of over 20.000 public domain oil paintings from WikiArt and the Metropolitan Museum of New York . The training process took over 1200 hours of computing power (Google Cloud GPU) per style (p