BMW Uses Artificial Intelligence to Design New Art Cars

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, commonly known as BMW recently revealed its latest art car project in celebration of the 50th anniversary of BMW Group Cultural engagement. German multinational corporation which produces luxury vehicles and motorcycles, BMW debuted the ‘The Ultimate AI Masterpiece,’ which is a unique exploration of art and technology that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to generate entirely new works.

Known as “The Ultimate AI Masterpiece” the latest virtual art installation uses artificial intelligence software to cross-reference over 50,000 works of art spanning over 900 years. Using these inputs as a basis for understanding art, artificial intelligence then generates entirely new works of art, merging what it learned from classical art and the styles noted by the contemporary artists. These new works have been projection-mapped onto a virtual rendition of BMW’s range-topping 8 Series Gran Coupe.

BMW Art Cars

The latest virtual art installation was set up in collaboration with talented technologist Nathan Shipley of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, and Gary Yeh, Art Collector & Founder of ArtDrunk.

“AI is an emerging form of creative expression,” said Goodby creative technologist Nathan Shipley. Combining the historical works with the curated modern works and projecting the evolving images onto the 8 Series Gran Coupe serves a direct nod to BMW’s history of uniting automobiles, art, and technology.

Uwe Dreher, Vice President of Marketing, BMW of North America, said “For 50 years, BMW has supported the arts and culture through numerous initiatives as a way to engage and interact with consumers around the world in an authentic way. As we continue these efforts into 2021 and look for new and creative ways to engage audiences, we shift to a virtual setting where we are combining centuries-old art and the latest AI technology to create something completely new and exciting.”

To document the creative process behind the virtual installation, Shipley and Yeh collaborated digitally from different parts of the world – Yeh in Seoul, Shipley in San Francisco – and virtually joined each other for an engaging conversation on the technology behind the artwork created by the AI, as well as BMW’s decades-long support of the arts.

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As a virtual art installation, the forms on the vehicles appear to evolve over time as the software works through the preloaded data. It’s unclear if the final exhibit will show the same characteristics, but it provides a great explanation for how the software functions.

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