Eerie AI-generated portrait fetches $432,500 at auction

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The question of whether a machine can create art, or anything at all, is at the heart of many a philosophical debate and has been for decades. But whether it’s worth something on the market? That point has been settled definitively today as a portrait-like image issuing from an AI sold for nearly half a million dollars at auction.

“Edmond de Belamy,” whom you see above, such as he is, is one of several members of a fictitious family created by a “generative adversarial network,” in turn created by French AI engineers and artists Obvious.

GANs comprise two parts, for which terminology differs but Obvious calls the “generator” and the “discriminator.” Both visual recognition models are given a set of data to ingest, in this case 15,000 portraits from the last 600 years or so. Based on this data, the generator attempts to create new portraits, and the discriminator tries to identify those portraits as either authentic or artificial. The less sure the discriminator is that an image is artificial, the closer it tends to be to the authentic portraits.

The Belamy family is the result of this process playing out many times, producing the strange, distorted faces that have a dreamlike, and also nightmarish, quality to them.

They’re also unmistakably computer-generated. The patriarch and Count of the family, for instance, though the colors and gross figure are interesting and in broad strokes painterly, the pattern of stippling (or whatever you want to tall it) is a telltale mark of a computer attempting to create consistent texture. His wife, the Countess, has a psychedelic oil-slick quality to her hair and dress that’s quite unnatural, and what appears to be craquelure on closer inspection is revealed to be an intricate warping structure reminiscent of Photoshop effects.

“It is an attribute of the model that there is distortion,” explained Hugo Caselles-Dupré, from Obvious, to Christie’s. “The Discriminator is looking for the features of the image — a face, shoulders — and for now it is more easily fooled than a human eye.”

Obviously it doesn’t quite match the old masters. But as you can see from the variety evinced by the Belamy clan, the system has a remarkable range and one can intuitively grasp the type of painting this is — perhaps each even reminds you of a real one.

The full Edmond.

Certainly someone thought that Edmond at least was worth having; Obvious estimated that the painting (though surely a print) would fetch perhaps €10,000 on the block. Imagine the group’s surprise when the bidding escalated to $432,500 — obviously $500 too much for one of the bidders. The new owner remains anonymous, though we may learn more later. For all we know it is Obvious itself (unlikely) or some art holdings company speculating that this early AI piece may become an historic one.

As for the signature, a rather tongue-in-cheek solution was lit on by the team: At the bottom right of Edmond’s canvas is part of the algorithm that created him (though far from all the code required to do so).

The work page is a bit more specific: “generative Adversarial Network print, on canvas, 2018, signed with GAN model loss function in ink by the publisher, from a series of eleven unique images, published by Obvious Art, Paris, with original gilded wood frame.”

We’re no closer to getting at the heart of art, deciding whether these generated constructs count as art, and if so, by whom, but it’s interesting nevertheless. Even if these aren’t exactly the kind of thing you’d want to hang on your wall. That’s true of most art anyway.

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$2.3 Million 2019 McLaren Speedtail Rockets 250 MPH, Has A Flexible Carbon Fiber Body, Is Like Nothing You’ve Ever Seen

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2019 McLaren Speedtail

McLaren

The 2019 McLaren Speedtail is here and it is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. This land rocket ship has remarkable specs, mind-blowing abilities, and an aerodynamic body that would make jet fighter designers green with envy.

The 2019 Speedtail is McLaren’s first “Hyper-GT” and is the British supercar-maker’s fastest automobile they have ever made built, which is quite the accomplishment since the F1’s top speed is 240.1 mph. The Speedtail has a top speed of 250 mph thanks to its gas and electric hybrid powertrain that pumps out 1,035 horsepower. The vehicle has a Velocity mode for maximum aerodynamics that lowers the ride height by 1.4 inches and retracts the rear-facing cameras. This bad boy blasts off from 0-186 mph in a neck-snapping 12.8 seconds.

The design is one of a kind and this hypercar actually bends, but doesn’t break. The Speedtail’s flexible carbon fiber body is made to bend. Despite carbon fiber made not to bend, but McLaren created active rear ailerons as a type of spoiler. McLaren explains their thinking in their press release:

The trailing edge of the Speedtail showcases a particular highlight, namely a pair of active rear ailerons. These dynamic elements are hydraulically actuated and an integral part of the rear clamshell, formed in flexible carbon fiber; the body of the Speedtail can quite literally bend. With a tolerance of only 1mm between the surfaces, this dramatic new technology all but removes any gaps or shutlines between the vehicle and the leading edge of the spoilers, meaning there is no turbulent air, no drag and no loss of speed.

RELATED: Someone Bought A Brand New $300K McLaren And Totaled It The Next Day

You’ll notice that the Speedtail has no rearview mirrors because the company ditched them for retractable digital rearview cameras to make this car as aerodynamic as possible. However, since there are review mirrors, that makes the Speedtail NOT street legal in the United States.

McLaren emphasizes symmetry in the 2019 Speedtail and that is most evident in the cockpit where the driver’s seat is situated in the center of the vehicle. The Speedtail is long, measuring 202.8 inches in length. The wheels are 20-inches in the front and 21-inch units rear, all wrapped in bespoke Pirelli P Zero tires. The front wheels have aero covers for more streamlined air flow.

The Speedtail was previously only known as the “McLaren BP23” back months ago when it was announced, which was the same time that the blistering fast hypercar sold out. That’s right, if you’re reading this it’s too late, the McLaren Speedtail already sold out months before its debut despite having an enormous price tag of $2.3 million. All 106 Speedtails sold out at a private event in London months ago and have an expected delivery date of early 2020.

RELATED: This Ford Mustang Commercial Was Banned By UK Government For ‘Encouraging Unsafe Driving’ (The Car Drove 15 MPH)

2019 McLaren Speedtail

McLaren

2019 McLaren Speedtail

McLaren

2019 McLaren Speedtail

McLaren

2019 McLaren Speedtail

McLaren

2019 McLaren Speedtail

McLaren

2019 McLaren Speedtail

McLaren

2019 McLaren Speedtail

McLaren

2019 McLaren Speedtail

McLaren

2019 McLaren Speedtail

McLaren

2019 McLaren Speedtail

McLaren

2019 McLaren Speedtail

McLaren

[MotoAuthority]

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Even walking Bitconnect meme Carlos Matos is now calling bitcoin a scam

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Even walking Bitconnect meme Carlos Matos is now calling bitcoin a scam

BITCONNNNNEEEEEEECT!!!!
BITCONNNNNEEEEEEECT!!!!

Image: screenshot bitconnect

2017%2f09%2f18%2f2b%2fjackbw5.32076By Jack Morse

You know you’re in trouble when you’ve lost Carlos Matos.

The walking meme made famous by his unbridled enthusiasm for Bitconnect, a cryptocurrency project strongly resembling a Ponzi scheme that shut down its lending and exchange platform in January, is now here to offer some measured words of caution. Namely, stay the hell away from bitcoin

“Bitcoin Is A Scam,” he tweeted on October 26. “Sell Everything It’s NEVER Going Back Up”

Matos, of course, is best known for promoting a likely scam himself. He launched into meme infamy in October of 2017 after a video of him singing Bitconnect’s praises went viral. 

Importantly, this was all before the price of a BCC token shot up to around $437, and then crashed back down to its current price of $.67. 

If you haven’t seen the clip, recorded at a Bitconnect gala in Thailand, you should go ahead and watch it now. We’ll wait. 

His proclamations of “I love Bitconnect!” were endlessly remixed, and Matos — a self-proclaimed Bitconnect investor — quickly became the face of the project.

Needless to say, none of this worked out so well for him. Even John Oliver took a swing at Matos on Last Week Tonight.

And while Matos surely regrets the day he heard of Bitconnect, you can’t say he didn’t learn anything from the mess he helped create. 

Which, to be clear, is that bitcoin is a scam. 

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How to best view the emotions you feel while trading

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Learning the role emotions play in your
trading

How are you trading at the moment? Or,
more specifically, how are your emotions affecting your trading at the moment?
Take a moment to ask, ‘How do I feel when I am trading well as opposed to how I
feel when I am trading badly?’ Trading is a very emotional pursuit. In fact,
you may have reached the conclusion that you need to remove the emotions
entirely from your trading. This idea is the birth of the automatic trading
robots. The thinking was that the emotions of a trader are getting in their way
and if we can just entirely eradicate that from the trading process then
trading will become easy. Now, this may well be the case for automated high
frequency trading reacting quicker than humans, but many traders will have
their own story of trading robots they have bought. The ‘whatever you call it’ turbo
or Max robinator FX 2099. You may well have your own experience of that sure
fire robot you bought back in 2010. All you had to do was sit on the beach and
drink the cocktails bought to you. The dream probably lasted all of 3 weeks. My
dream lasted until about day two.  The
problem of course is that pure logic has it’s weaknesses. In fact there are
times when it is just stupid to be purely logical.

The latest findings from neuroscience is
that we should combine both our reason and our emotions

Neuroscience
sheds some light on
the role emotions play in our decision making

Now neuroscience is a relatively new
science. The brain has been relatively poorly studied and it is only in the
last twenty years or so that the science has really developed. The most up to
date thinking is that as information comes into us through our senses that is
evaluated by the amygdala part of our brain. The information is then given an
emotional marker or label by the amygdala. Now, once an emotion is tagged to
the event, the information goes up to the Cortex. So, in effect, we are only
evaluating what we have already had a feeling about first. We feel first

and think second. This is obvious to us when we consider the type of
advertising that works. To sell a product a company engages our emotions and
feelings and gets us thinking and feeling first. Adverts don’t give us a list
of pro’s and con’s about a product because we don’t think in a way that is
entirely detached from our emotions. Instead the adverts give us a feel, the
music, the images etc and that is what prompts us to buy and then to think about
the sale. The bottom line is that we feel, before we think.

So, you see the issue?  We can’t trade without emotion. It is a
foolish approach for us to try. So, what purpose do our emotions have. Ok,
emotions actually give us information by making us feel before we  think. That helps us respond quickly. So, if
your feeling fear you will respond quickly to avoid the threat or danger. That
feeling can speed up the whole process of reasoning. Emotions also help us to focus on what is
important. We are drawn to respond to the greatest threats or dangers through
our feelings.  Furthermore, emotions also
help us to have confidence and competence. A competent trader is a confident
trader and, usually, a profitable trader.

Emotions are key in decision making

Accept that all your emotions are very
important in making decisions. Now, extremely strong emotions can hinder our
trading, for sure. They need addressing. However, emotions are not your enemy.
They are your friends. So start to think of emotions as your allies and not
your enemies
. Use the emotions you are feeling as you would a data feed. So,
if you are feeling fear in a trade what does that mean? Perhaps you are over
leveraged and the fear is warning you that you are in danger. Are you feeling
confident? Perhaps that is telling you that your analysis is correct.  Maybe you lack confidence in your trading?
Perhaps that is telling you that you don’t have enough experience yet and you
need to learn more. Listen to your feelings, and don’t ignore them. See them as your assistant,
rather than your enemy.

Conclusion

Emotions are there to help us, rather
than hinder us. We have all heard about EQ – or emotional intelligence, and
that is tapping into that emotional part of us. It is being able to reason emotionally.  Now, emotions can be out of control and they
can be totally indulged. For example, if you feel angry it wouldn’t always be
appropriate to act on that anger. However, reasoning emotionally and being
aware of your emotions is much more in tune with the way we actually think.
Perhaps you are needing to learn to stop trying to suppress and ignore your
emotions and to start listening to them. Perhaps they are trying to tell you
something that you have been ignoring.

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