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“Artificial intelligence can now own copyrights” Ep.1

NFTs have come to shake things in the traditional art sector. Their artistic and commercial value raise many questions. Luciano Floridi, information philosophy and ethics professor at the Oxford University analyses this phenomenon.

In terms of spending, digital art is approaching the traditional art sector with $41 billion spent in 2021 (Beeple)

The art world recently went through a year of great digital transformation. Over 41 billion dollars were spent in NFTs in 2021 according to the Financial Times, pushing this market closer to the traditional art sector. What is a digital work of art? How is it different from a classical piece? How is the market evolving and who are the new digital artists? Complex questions which Luxury Tribune tries to answer through a series of interviews dedicated to this theme, alongside three influential personalities in the field.

Luciano Floridi, information philosophy and ethics professor from Oxford University (DR)

Our analysis of the 3.0 art sector begins with information philosophy and ethics professor from Oxford University, Luciano Floridi. Culture and communications sociologist in Bologna, member of the “High- End Expert group on Artificial Intelligence” of the European Commission, he is today the most quoted philosopher in the world according to the Scopus ranking. He analyses our representations of art and beauty in the digital era.

Can one qualify as art a portrait entitled Next Rembrandt presented in 2016, a result of a Microsoft project in collaboration with the Rembrandt House Museum, generated through artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithms?

This 3D painting is the result of the analysis of data from Rembrandt's body of work (Microsoft)

Considering we don’t have a precise definition of what an artwork is, we can answer positively. It is a Rembrandt, but which was not painted by Rembrandt himself, an observation we should be getting used to. The last speech written by Kennedy is another example, as it was never spoken by the president who was murdered. It became a voice created by artificial intelligence, which learnt to speak by analyzing real data extracted from Kennedy’s speeches. Today, we don’t have a word for an artefact such as the Microsoft Rembrandt. Personally, I find relevant to stem from the Greek word Ektype, which represents a copy whose relationship with the source is particular. It is the imprint left by a seal on a wax stamp, which is not a copy of the seal, neither an original, but which has a specific “poetic” relation with it. The question is to know how to reconceptualize these pieces, what they mean, what they represent.

What are your thoughts about the digital value of a Beeple artwork, an NFT sold at 69 million dollars and the value of an authentic Rembrandt, sold at about thirty million dollars?

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