This AI Sees Things in Art That Humans Don’t

The Recognition programme matches a photo of Notting Hill Carnival (Image: Reuters/Peter Nicholls) with a painting by Sir Godfrey Kneller, The Harvey Family, 1721 (Image: Tate)
What’s the same about a photo of the most recent Notting Hill Carnival parade and an 18th century portrait of an upper class family? It might not be obvious to a human, but an artificial intelligence programme sees distinct similarities in, say, the composition of the subjects, or colour of their outfits.

By Victoria Turk | MOTHERBOARD

A new AI project unveiled at the Tate Britain art gallery in London on Friday

draws links between current news photos and archival artworks in a bid to help humans think differently about the images they see.

Called Recognition, the AI programme compares current photojournalism provided by Reuters with works from the Tate’s collection to find its best match. It pairs the images based on image recognition techniques that analyse objects, faces, composition, and context gleaned from metadata.

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