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AI Artathon winners illustrate the potential of human creativity empowered by advanced artificial intelligence

Riyadh, October 22nd 2020: The winners of the AI Artathon, an international contest to create artworks using artificial intelligence tools and techniques, have been announced in Riyadh. The winning teams, as selected by expert judges, mixed creativity with technical expertise and utilized a range of advanced AI applications, to create the artworks which showcase the creative potential of humans working together with machines.

The competition’s winner is ‘Museum of GAN,’ a team with an artist Asma AlAmri, and AI experts Sultan Whebi and Saud AlMajed. The winning piece aimed to create new artworks based on different emotional states as depicted in portraits. The artwork collected and classified many well-known portraits according to their emotional states and impressions, which the machine then contributed to creating the artwork. ‘The Chimera Ant Queen’ team came in second. Artists Afaaf Bawazir and Ali AlMosu, and AI expert Maha Alarifi, were inspired by ‘Chimera Ant Queen,’ a popular animation character. The project used digital graffiti, other artworks and concepts to create a new and unique piece that follows the journey of ‘Chimera Ant.’

‘Emergent Typographies’ team came in third. Artist Firas Safieddine and AI expert Yasser Sinjab reflected the beauty of Saudi Arabia’s nature using geographic and topographic graphics. The team used existing lines and shapes to create a new digital artwork in which new patterns and inspirations are made by the AI. The three winning teams shared $146,644 prize.

The AI Artathon was organized by the Saudi Data and AI Authority (SDAIA), as part of the Global AI Summit. The summit is an international event that connect key decision makers from government, academia, business and technology to discuss global issues and challenges around AI and how artificial intelligence can shape the new normal.

His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Bin Sharaf Al-Ghamdi, President of SDAIA, and Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Global AI Summit, congratulated the winners on their efforts. “The winning artworks highlight the potential for artificial intelligence to empower human beings in many different ways, and showed how artists and AI experts can utilize these emerging technologies to unlock new areas of creativity. SDAIA would like to thank all of our teams for their dedication and work in making the AI Artathon a success,” said HE Dr Al-Ghamdi.

The competition began in January, when over 2,000 people from over 50 countries applied to join a hackathon weekend held in Riyadh. 300 people, including artists, graphic designers, AI experts and programmers competed in the hackathon. Then, 20 teams were selected to participate in the bootcamp phase, where they learned and enhanced skills for using machine learning algorithms and generative adversarial networks (GAN) to create artworks.