We could find the next Vincent van Gogh… in a bot

CloudPainter’s reinterpretation of Cezanne’s Houses at L’Estaque from 1880.


An art competition just proved the next revolutionary painter could very well be non-human.

Ten teams of bots and their creators beat out more than 100 artworks for prizes at the 2018 Robotart competition, Futurism reported last Friday.

Organised by the RobotArt Gallery, the competition runs worldwide, held for the third time last week. Participating teams are not limited to the type of robot used to create artworks, although work done by an “inkjet-like matrix printer” won’t qualify. There are two categories available for judging, with the difference being whether or not submissions used any pictures as a reference.

This year’s winner is a project called CloudPainter that incorporates machine learning technology to paint “evocative portraits with varying degrees of abstraction.” Robotart’s founder Andrew Conru told MIT Technology Review that while this year’s entries show refined brushstrokes and composition, he thought there was “most improvement” in CloudPainter since its participation in the inaugural edition of Robotart.

“The resulting work, while it still uses an inputted photo as reference, can execute paintings using different painting styles,” Conru said.

Bots have long shown an interest in the arts and even write poems. They paint different kinds of artwork, including nudism. Compared to my shoddy drawings, the artworks submitted are exceptional. See them here.

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