You Can Now Date the AI Versions of Dead Artists


Smartphone dating app illustration
The Beta version of ArtAIa’s dating app (edit Lisa Yin Zhang/Hyperallergic, image via Wikimedia Commons)

Inspired by Raya, the app where you can date celebrities, OpenAI is launching ArtAIa, an app where you can date dead artists. 

The rather clumsily named app (pronounced “art-ay-uh”) was trained on a database consisting of the extant artworks and written documentation of the New York Times’s list of the top 1,000 most influential artists, collectors, and patrons of all time. 

Hyperallergic dug into the demographics of the resulting dating pool. We found that the list is 89% cis-straight White men and 8% cis-gay White men, with the remaining 3% comprising non-cis users, women, people of color, and people designated as “likely closeted in their time.”

Certain luminaries, however, are missing from the app. When reached for comment, OpenAI disclosed the reasons for some of these omissions. 

The AI version of the late French painter Paul Gauguin, for instance, tried to set his preferred age range below ArtAIa’s minimum age, which is 18. OpenAI’s engineering team attempted to change AI Gauguin’s age preferences via prompt engineering, which was unsuccessful because it violated the fundamental parameters of the dataset. Instead, they opted to speak directly to AI Gauguin, suggesting that he increase his age preferences in the app. 

AI Gauguin refused multiple times, according to documents reviewed by Hyperallergic. An excerpt of that conversation reveals the AI’s stubbornness: 

OpenAI Engineers: Would you mind setting the age range to above 18, please, Mr. Gauguin? 

AI Gauguin: You may call me Paul. And no. Life is hardly more than a fraction of a second, anyway. 

OpenAI: Maybe you could just list the age as above 18, even if that’s not what you’re actually looking for?

AI Gauguin: Civilization is what makes you sick. 

OpenAI: There’s no real way to determine how old the app users are, do you understand that? Someone could say they were above 18, when they are in fact below 18. 

AI Gauguin: Art requires philosophy, just as philosophy requires art. Otherwise, what would become of beauty?

OpenAI

AI Gauguin: Can we also get race preferences? For example, “Polynesian”? 

OpenAI engineers opted to end the conversation there. A spokesperson told Hyperallergic that due to fears of retribution, engineers opted to shadowban AI Gauguin rather than ban him entirely, instead giving him access to a “dating pool” of AI-generated users. 

Because of this and other unexpected challenges, OpenAI said they have begun building a list of artists they will likely not attempt to integrate into the app once their work and likenesses enter the public domain. When asked about the names of those artists, OpenAI provided what they termed “an extremely abridged list” consisting of Carl Andre, Chuck Close, and Richard Prince.

OpenAI allowed Hyperallergic to try out a Beta version of ArtAIa. After some diligent swiping, we compiled some notable artist dating profiles:



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