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AI-generative art predicted to be next trend for NFT sector

Sales of nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, reached $25 billion in 2021, demonstrating that the sector is one of the most sought-after markets in crypto. Art NFTs, in particular, made a big impact last year with Christie’s reporting over $93 million in nonfungible token sales during its fourth annual Art+Tech Summit that took place this past August.

Despite being notable, much of crypto art seems to be dominated cartoons and memes. Projects like CryptoPunks or Bored Ape Yacht Club have taken center stage . These projects have been some of the most successful. However, there is a new category of NFTs that uses advanced technology and human imagination.

AI-generative NFTs become a new art genre

Known as “AI-generative NFTs,” these nonfungible tokens are becoming increasingly popular within the art community, along with those interested in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain and the Metaverse. To create AI-generative NFTs one would normally use generative adversarial network (GANs) to do so. These algorithms use computers to train models and create images that resemble art using data.

Claire Silver, an AI-collaborative artist, told Cointelegraph that AI-generative NFT art is a relatively new genre, noting that the basic principle is that art is created in tandem with some semblance of artificial intelligence, like GAN:

“There are code-heavy options and completely code-free tools that anyone can work with. The latter is what I use in my work. Being able to work with an AI to bring your ideas to life is an experience like no other, it augments creativity in a way that feels like freedom, a type of play you haven’t experienced since you were a child.”

In order to create AI-generative NFTs, Silver explained that she leverages a text-to-art generator called “Eponym.” Developed by the AI-generated art company Art AI, the Eponym tool allows users to create art based on their text of choice and then mint these creations directly to the largest NFT marketplace, OpenSea.

“Cassandra Ex Machina” Source: Claire Silver

Eyal Fisher, co-founder of Art AI, told Cointelegraph that Eponym allows for any phrase to be transformed into a unique NFT art piece that will forever be etched onto the Ethereum blockchain as a visual representation.

Fisher said that Eponym is based on algorithms that allow people to create art through interaction with computers. Eponym is a collaborative NFT-project. It is accessible by visiting the website and entering any word or phrase into a text field. Fisher explained that the AI generates artwork from the text input. Each prompt can only be generated one time. He said that there is only one Eponym for “Bitcoin”

“$btc” image produced by Eponym. Source: Eponym

Although AI-generative art is a fairly new concept, Fisher shared that the first Eponym project sold out overnight on OpenSea, making it one of the largest collaborative art projects created by 3,500 different artists. “This is an experiment with decentralizing art. He said that Eponyms owners are the creators of this art and want to curate it.

While Eponym allows users to create their own art NFTs and Eponym is a great tool, Metascapes was created by three photographers who wanted to combine human expression with computer algorithm. Ryan Newburn, one of the photographers behind Metascapes, told Cointelegraph that the project consists of 3,333 rare AI-generated NFTs based on photographs taken across the world. Metascapes, like Eponym, uses AI algorithms to generate nature-inspired NFTs. Newburn stated that the first Metascapes collection will be available by February end or early February.

“Ice Journey” Source: Metascapes

The AI-team behind Metascapes — which goes by the name Versus Labs — explained that the artwork in each collection is created by training data to recognize real-world images:

“We have images and labels for our photographs, which are called ‘training data.’ When it’s time to generate the output model, we put in a label that tells the model what type of images to put out. For example, ice caves and volcanoes were two categories the photographers have done work for in the past, but this wasn’t a majority of the input data, so we wanted to make sure the output contained examples of ice caves and volcanoes.”

Versus Labs added that Metascapes’ AI learns as it goes, noting that the generator that outputs data gets better over time since two models of learning are being used in tandem. The generator generates random noise in the beginning, and the discriminator model informs the generator how to improve its output. This makes it look more like the training data. This cycle continues, ensuring both models improve over time.”

Iurie Belegurschi, another photographer behind Metascapes, told Cointelegraph that as photographers, the Metascapes team chose to work with AI to generate images because everything related to NFTs and Web3 is about machines, computers and code:

“We decided to collaborate with a machine to create an entirely new world in the Metaverse. Everyone now is buying PFP avatars, but in our case, people will get a unique piece of land in the Metaverse.”

AI’s impact on artists and NFT collectors

Although AI-generated NFTs are still an emerging concept, this model has started to impact both artists and NFT collectors. For instance, the digital artist known as “Kami was Here” told Cointelegraph that working with AI has fundamentally changed the role of the human artist:

“The human needs the algorithm and the algorithm needs the human. This new role required data collection, code writing, curation, inspiration, and most importantly, coaching an algorithm. The process is dynamic and the outcome collaborative.”

“The Cartographer” Source: Kami was Here

In terms of how generative art NFTs differ from other nonfungible tokens, “Kami was Here” explained that each result is fully unique since it is birthed from an algorithm. The artist stated that generative art is about the future of a society that has been hardwired for human-computer interaction.

Moreover, Fisher pointed out that accessibility and a newfound desire to own NFTs has been an outcome of AI-generated images. “Many of our users create NFTs for their first time while NFT buyers and collectors are making their own creations. This is unusual as many people in our community don’t have the skills to make NFTs.

Dr. Alex Alter, principal AI-scientist at Altered State Machine, said that AI-generated NFTs not only look great, but also give individuals a deeper, abstract feeling. These NFTs are unique in that they have no areas in any AI work that share similar pixels. People will also be able in the future to create AI artwork using chatbot technology and DAOs. This is far more than what other NFTs can do today.”

“Abyss” Source: Dr. Alex Alter

Can AI be trusted to create meaningful NFTs? While AI-generative NFTs have the potential to be useful, it remains a question whether artificial intelligence can be trusted with creating meaningful images from text or photos.

Newburn also mentioned that Metascapes meticulously curates every collection. “Our AI team generated thousands of images. These images will not all be displayed in our mints. If we’re not satisfied with a category, we strategize to find other categories that will work together. Our AI has learnt from multiple tests.”

It’s important to remember that there are many ways to generate AI-based NFTs. Fisher pointed out that Eponym has two versions its generator that are available to the public. One is a chatbot that can be used by Eponym’s Discord channel, while the other is a private link that uses more sophisticated algorithms that can create more advanced images. “Kami was Here” further pointed out that some AI-art pieces can take only a few minutes to generate, while others can take longer:

“There are free apps now like Wombo that can easily generate images. It is easy for anyone to create. AI art, on the other hand can take several months to create and train your algorithms, collect input information, and pay for processing power. AI art can also be very resource intensive and personalized.”

Technology aside, AI-generative NFTs are bound to be a disruptive trend moving forward. Dr. Alter stated that AI-generated art has seen large volumes on OpenSea and that this market will grow in the coming year. This is partly due to the AI-generative NFTs’ functionality. “In the future, people will be able to own their own ‘AI artist’ NFT (AI which can produce art) or use a DAO AI to create art together with that AI artist.”

Additionally, the rise of the Metaverse should prompt the growth of AI-based NFTs. Fisher noted that Eponym’s next project would feature interactive virtual identities. Users can create 3D avatars from their portraits and then animated them with artificial intelligence. “Our plan is to use AI to allow avatars to take different forms that are compatible with metaverse environments such as Sandbox. In February, the company will be introducing additional algorithms that will allow users to generate personalized avatars.”

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Henry Hicks
Henry Hickshttps://nonfungibletalk.com
NFT and Crypto Enthusiast. Loves Travelling and Exploring the Metaverse!
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