A visual work composed by AI (Artificial Intelligence) will soon go on auction through Christie’s, a prestigious auction house originally based in the UK. The piece is titled ‘Edmond de Belamy.’

The specific AI used is the work of a French art collective who call themselves Obvious. It is part of a series of works designed by the collective, as part of an attempt to explore the relationship between AI and what we perceive of as art.

It is difficult to gauge the attitudes of the art community in response to these experiments. Christie’s, as well as multiple news outlets reporting on the anticipated auction have failed to refer to the work as a bona fide painting. Instead, ‘art’ and ‘painting’ have been placed in quotation marks when referring to ‘Edmond de Belamy.’ Clearly, the work is accomplishing its goal of making the fine art community as well as the general public question their conceptions of what can be defined as art, and why and when we allow that word to be applied to any given work.