AI-generated versions of art history paintings are flooding Google’s top search results | Artnet news

Google is apparently rolling out tools that are supposed to make it easier to evaluate the context and credibility of search results.

Julian van Dieken, A girl with bright earrings. Courtesy of the artist.

The Internet has long been flooded with images generated by artificial intelligence, but surely no one mistakes these strange viral images for true artistic masterpieces?

If there’s any confusion, it appears to be from the Internet itself. Google was caught placing AI imitations of famous paintings at the top of its search results, according to a report in Futurism.

First, it happened when art lovers typed in Edward Hopper, which returned an image of a woman staring wistfully out the window. The work had some familiar qualities from the work of legendary American artists, evoking themes of isolation, introspection and containment within a domestic interior. However, its flat, artificial sheen was a poor imitation of Hopper’s brushwork.

A screenshot of Google Search for Edward Hopper, featuring AI-generated artwork by Carlos Pampanini.

Other obvious flaws included an oddly pronounced red ear, forearms and fingers that blend into each other, and nothing to see out the window beyond an eerie yellow mist.

If you don’t think visual AI is a problem, this is what you come up with @Google Edward Hopper, illustrator Penny Neville-Lee tweeted, with a link to a screenshot.

In fact, the Hopper-like image was pulled from the Creative Fabrica website and had been generated with a suggestion of a woman looking out the window by Edward Hopper. The creator, Carlos Pampanini, described it as a great image for anyone who loves lipstick, design, projects and DIY.

But it is not the only example. Now, apparently, if you want to check out the works of Dutch old master Johannes Vermeer, you’ll be met with a bizarrely photorealistic version of his Girl with a Pearl Earring(ca. 1665) before scrolling down to see the real deal.

Vermeer’s imposter was, in fact, actively approved by the Mauritshuis in the Netherlands, which owns the original. The museum had invited fans to produce their own imitations of the work as stunt doubles while it was on loan to the Rijksmuseum, and this version, known as A girl with bright earrings,was generated by German AI artist Julian van Dieken. His public display was met with considerable controversy.

After the AI ​​homage to Hopper was discovered at the top of Google’s results, the company worked to fix the issue, but it appears it hasn’t been able to stop it from happening again with another artist. For now, these AI-generated fakes are fooling the Google algorithm, but they are still easy for most people to identify and ignore. As the tools get more sophisticated, however, we can only imagine what kind of confusion might be in store.

We’re rolling out new tools to help people quickly and easily assess the context and credibility of images, including our About This Image tool and markup-based image labels for AI-generated images, a spokesperson said by Google Futurism. Given the reach of the open web, however, our systems may not always select the best images, regardless of how those images are produced, AI-generated or not.

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