Artificial intelligence used to understand the techniques of the most famous painters


Art is a very difficult notion to apprehend for man. Even more, you know, for a machine. However, artificial intelligence could help to understand the technique behind this or that work.

There’s a reason some artists are so famous. And although there are a lot of very good ones, although some are able to replicate the style of some of the best known painters, the result will never be 100% identical. That being said, using artificial intelligence, researchers are rediscovering how these great names in painting were able to complete their works of art.

When artificial intelligence helps to understand how a painting is made

The artificial intelligence algorithm we are interested in today was developed by researchers at the Laboratory for Research in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence (CSAIL) at MIT. It was called Timecraft. He is able to deduce how a painting was made and what kinds of brushstrokes the artist could use to create it. To do this, AI was trained with no less than 200 timelapses of paintings. The algorithm was thus able to learn the different techniques used to obtain a certain effect and a certain end result.

This could lead to a better understanding of the entire creative process of a work

It is hard to imagine that this algorithm could be used to replicate the works of the great masters but the idea is that, by studying the techniques, researchers could have more information about the whole creative process of these artists. For example, thanks to what artificial intelligence has discovered, researchers have learned that these painters tend to work from the bigger to the finer, starting by laying out the outlines of their work before working each area in detail. This project also revealed that these artists usually paint only one section of a scene with one or two colours at a time.

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