They are engineers. They are entrepreneurs. Meet Benoit Audigier, Charlotte Caucheteux and Priscille Boissonnet from NoArtist. Together, they are on a mission to create meaningful dialogue around art and artificial intelligence.
The NoArtist story
It was in the year 2018 that Benoit, Charlotte et Priscille decided to concretise their idea of generating works of art with artificial intelligence. The entrepreneurs met during their Master in Artificial Intelligence by Ecole Polytechnique and HEC. While working on a project on the classification of artwork according to its artistic movement, they were intrigued to know how a machine perceives images and the characteristics it focusses on. NoArtist was, thus, born.
Science behind NoArtist
According to the founders of this startup, AI is a subject of investigation even in the world of art. Their idea is to connect innovation and something that already exists. Concretely, it uses the Generative Adversarial Network* algorithm created in 2014 that works with two modules : generator and discriminator. While the generator, like an amateur painter, studies and memorises similarities of different images, the discriminator acts like an art critic. It examines the image generated and verifies if it corresponds to the dataset* entered in the computer. Through an iterative process, the generator is reminded the codes and it works till a coherent image is obtained. A NoArtist image is hence a product of interpretation of common characteristics of thousands of images on a particular subject such as portrait, cubism etc.
Dichotomy of fame
Owing to its "deliberately provocative" side, the founders of NoArtist are asked different questions. Can art have a value without human touch? Do men and machines really need to collaborate? These are some questions that Benoit, Charlotte and Priscille happily answer! According to them, the idea behind NoArtist is to sensitise people and make them discuss art. They work to unravel the capacity of artificial intelligence to imitate human behaviour. Ultimately, the machine does not replace artists as a human is present at each step in the generation of their artworks.
Word of wisdom for entrepreneurs
The founders advocate a profound understanding of customer expectations and perspective of the clients for startups looking to succeed.
Today, NoArtist has sold hundreds of artworks and is appreciated by young entrepreneurs as well as art lovers.
*dataset : Totality of information related to a particular project or subject of study.
*Generative Adversarial Network : A technique in artificial intelligence that is capable of creating perfect imitations from a large number of images and other types of data