The world’s first Al sculpture “The Impossible Statue” is on display at Stockholm’s National Museum of Science and Technology. A historical dream team of five master sculptors has come true. Learn more about the world’s first AI-generated statue – in Sweden.
Five master sculptors, Michelangelo, Rodin, Käthe Kollwitz, Takamura Kotaro, and Augusta Savage, have been used to train artificial intelligence to design a sculpture dubbed the Impossible Statue, now on show in Stockholm.
A true statue
“This is a true statue created by five different masters that would never have been able to collaborate in real life,” said Pauliina Lunde, a spokeswoman for Swedish machine engineering group Sandvik that used three AI software programs to create the artwork.
Shaking up traditional conceptions about creativity and art, the stainless steel statue depicts an androgynous person with the lower half of the body covered by a swath of material, holding a bronze globe in one hand.
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From afar, it seems hardly remarkable, a human-shaped swirl of stainless steel clutching an orb. It appears almost like an oversized awards trophy. Only upon investigation does the singularity of the five-foot work, a fusion of generative AI and precision manufacturing, become apparent.
On show at Stockholm’s National Museum of Science and Technology
On show at Stockholm’s National Museum of Science and Technology, the statue measures 150 centimeters (4 feet 11 inches) and weighs 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds).
“Something about it makes me feel like this is not made by a human being,” Julia Olderius, in charge of concept development at the museum, told AFP.
Though this project is art-centric, the manufacturing methods involved in creating The Impossible Statue differed little from other tasks, said Nadine Crauwels, president of Sandvik Machining Solutions: “By using all our capabilities, we can significantly improve manufacturing efficiency, reduce waste, and ensure the highest quality.”
Visitors may note the muscular body inspired by Michelangelo, and the hand holding the globe inspired by Takamura.
After settling on a design, Sandvik converted the 2D image into a 3D model using both depth-estimator software and human pose estimation, a computer task that identifies different part of the human body within a scene. The company then thoroughly tested the manufacturing process in a series of digital simulations, cutting the amount of steel used in the process by half. The statue it produced was composed of nine million polygons, 17 separate steel pieces, and differed from the digital design by less than 0.03 mm.
“I don’t think you can define what art is. It’s up to every human being to see, ‘this is art, this is not art’. And it’s up to the audience to decide,” Olderius said and added: “I don’t think you have to be afraid of what AI is doing with creativity or concepts or art and design. I just think you have to adapt to a new future where technology is a part of how we create concepts and art.”
The World’s First AI-Generated Statue – in Sweden, written by Tor Kjolberg