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What Is Botto, Art At The Time Of Artificial Intelligence

Botto is an artificial intelligence algorithm capable of generating works of art. But it is people who direct his “pencil.” Botto is an artificial intelligence algorithm capable of generating NFT ( Non-Fungible Token ) works of art, unique and non-replicable pieces. To do this, he creates thousands of images, and a community of users decides how to influence their choices by voting, deciding which works should go to auction. 

This allowed him to generate a profit of $ 1.3 million from selling just six digital works of art. What makes Botto unique is the ability to collect and catalog different artistic influences, which he uses to bring his creations to life in a matter of minutes. Many could argue that it lacks originality, but it cannot be hidden that the human artist is also influenced by experience and the works of others. On the other hand, our brain also follows some algorithms.

What machines will never be able to do, however, is to be emotionally stimulated by artistic creations and therefore be able to distinguish between a high-value work and a bad one. The Botto project was born to combine the computing and processing skills of the computer tool with the emotional and sensory ones of the human being.

How Botto Works

Botto takes advantage of the VQGAN (Vector Quantized Generative Adversarial Network) and CLIP (Contrastive Language-Image Pre-training) machine learning algorithms, which can be used simultaneously to generate images from a text prompt. The former can create ideas similar to others, while the latter can determine if they correspond well with the initial text input. Specifically, Botto starts with a random string of words and phrases and uses it to generate an image via VQGAN, using its databases full of famous works of art. 

It is then up to CLIP to establish how much this output is in line with the initial string and then help VQGAN make corrections by adjusting appropriate parameters. When the work is completed, CLIP can choose a title of two random words: the optimal combination is established based on consistency with the represented image. When the time comes for the description, GPT-3, a natural language generator developed by OpenAI, steps in. 

The team of people intervenes to verify the accuracy of the generated content and chooses the best solution, fixing punctuation and correcting errors. Botto receives about 300 daily inputs from which he processes as many images. This is followed by a weekly screening and selecting the 350 most beautiful photos to submit to the community, which has thousands of members. Through a vote, these people decree each week the most beautiful work. It is then coined as an NFT and sold at auction on super rare occasions.

Botto uses the choices of human beings to refine the selection of the best weekly works to be submitted to the community’s judgment and generate the text strings to be used the following week. The algorithm should present better works increasingly with very different characteristics to make the selection procedure increasingly tricky.

What Exactly Are NFTs

Non-Fungible Token stands for something that cannot be replicated and is therefore irreplaceable as if it had a certificate of authenticity. NFTs are nothing more than cryptographic tokens that exploit blockchain technology, i.e. a digital register that keeps track of their movements and makes them non-interchangeable. This has particular benefits regarding the exercise of money and allows you to know with certainty whether you are in front of the original product or a replica of it. Art was one of the first fields of application of NFTs and is currently a growing business, with works sold online for thousands of dollars. 

Whoever buys a work of this type becomes its sole owner and exclusive owner, is sure of its authenticity, and there is no possibility that someone else owns a copy. Artists who want to earn money by selling their creations through NFTs must first purchase digital tokens. They can do this by entering and validating their information on a blockchain like Ethereum. This operation has a high cost but allows for a vital return when the works are auctioned on dedicated platforms such as SuperRare, OpenSea, Raible, NiftyGateway and marketplace.

To Whom Are Botto’s Proceeds Destined

The most successful of Botto’s six NFT representations sold at auction are Scene Precede and Asymmetric Liberation, which reached $ 430 and $ 325,000, respectively. The least profitable was Cross Adieu, which still guaranteed $ 81,000. Beyond a percentage of 15% to be allocated to SuperRare for commission costs, the proceeds are used to incentivize participation in the Botto project and the relative votes. 

In particular, they are reinvested in the purchase of digital tokens on Ethereum to certify future works. At the same time, users must use the Botto platform to exchange purchased tickets and get the ability to vote multiple times in a week. This promotional mechanism will likely lead to an increase in the value of NFT works and related tokens. The project aims to bring people closer to art. One thing is to finance the human artist who sells his creations to pay for a living. Another is to go and finance a business whose sole purpose seems to be to generate money out of thin air.


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