There is a lot of talk at the moment about ChatGPT and artificial intelligence tools, which are currently enjoying dazzling success, and we are gradually discovering the infinite possibilities offered by these technologies.

With the start of this new era, the AI era, we are going to see if the profession of art expert could be threatened. Does this noble profession, which relies on a skilful balance between knowledge and eye/experience, have anything to worry about? Dare we ask: will ChatGPT make art experts jobless?

Art Shortlist
by Art Shortlist - May 26, 2023

We did a test with a painting by Pablo Picasso

Often perceived as a threat to humanity, we're going to see what ChatGPT has up its sleeve when asked the following question: "Hello ChatGPT, how much is an original painting by Pablo Picasso worth?"

ChatGPT: "Hello! The value of an original painting by Pablo Picasso can vary considerably depending on several factors, such as authenticity, the period in which it was created, subject matter, size, provenance and demand on the art market. Picasso's most famous works generally sell for extremely high prices when they come up for auction. In May 2021, Picasso's painting "Les femmes d'Alger (Version 'O')" set a world record for an art auction, fetching $179.4 million. However, it is important to note that not all of Picasso's works sell for such astronomical prices. It is best to consult art experts, such as auction houses, art galleries or Picasso specialists, to obtain an accurate estimate of the value of a specific painting by the artist. They will take into account all the elements mentioned above to value the painting to the best of their knowledge and experience."

It's worth noting just how polite ChatGPT is: it starts by saying hello. Going into more detail, we can see that the tool has a fairly precise knowledge of the subject and above all that it warns us about the various factors that have an impact on the value of our painting. The role of an expert in this case is to be extremely vigilant and rigorous in determining the precise value of the work to be appraised.

He even recommends that we turn to art experts. Let's see if ChatGPT can provide us with an estimated range: "Thank you for your enlightening reply. Do you have an estimated range for a Picasso painting?"

ChatGPT: "Of course, I can give you a general range for Picasso paintings, but bear in mind that this can vary considerably depending on the factors I mentioned earlier. Picasso's works can sell for anywhere from a few thousand dollars to tens of millions of dollars. Smaller paintings, drawings or lesser-known works may be affordable to some collectors at the lower end of the range, while iconic masterpieces and larger paintings can fetch exorbitant prices. Most Picasso works sold at auction are in the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars range. Exceptional and historically important works can exceed this range and fetch tens of millions of dollars. Again, I stress that it is best to consult art experts for an accurate and up-to-date estimate of the value of a specific Picasso painting, as each work is unique and its value can vary depending on many factors."

With this answer obtained in a matter of seconds, we can see the power of this AI if used properly, it can prove extremely useful in obtaining an initial opinion. In the end, the only limit seems to be our imagination.

Art Shortlist: "Where can I sell my Picasso painting?"

ChatGPT: "If you have a Picasso painting that you want to sell, there are a number of options for selling it effectively and getting the best possible price. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Auction houses: Renowned auction houses regularly organise art sales where you can offer your painting. These houses have expertise in art and a network of collectors and potential buyers. They can help you appraise your work, put it up for sale and promote it to an international clientele.
  2. Art galleries: Art galleries specialising in modern and contemporary art may be interested in acquiring your Picasso painting. Look for reputable galleries that deal in Picasso's work and contact them to discuss the possibility of selling your painting through them.
  3. Art dealers: Art dealers are experts who work directly with art collectors and buyers. Find an art dealer who specialises in modern and contemporary art, particularly works by Picasso, and present your painting to them. They can advise you on value and help you find potential buyers.
  4. Online platforms: There are online platforms specialising in art sales where you can offer your painting for sale. Make sure you choose a reputable platform that attracts collectors and offers security guarantees for transactions.

Before choosing one of these options, it's a good idea to do some thorough research, comparing the commissions, services offered and policies of each sales channel, to find the one that best suits your needs. You can also consult art experts for specific advice and recommendations based on your Picasso painting."

We're amazed to see that ChatGPT is capable of informing us about just about everything, it can give sound advice to the uninitiated, a real revolution is underway, just take the test...

The experts still have something to say

After the test we've just carried out, we can still see the limitations of the current version of ChatGPT, but it's worth noting that it is cautious and that the tone it adopts seems to be the right one. Given that we didn't give him any information about a specific Picasso work, such as subject, technique, medium, format, year of creation or provenance, we feel that ChatGPT was a great help in providing us with an initial opinion and directing us towards competent people and companies.

So the experts won't be out of work in the next few days, but bear in mind that new versions of ChatGPT are being developed, so we wouldn't be surprised to see this tool become a real pocket expert.

Art Shortlist: "Is ChatGPT going to replace art experts?"

ChatGPT: "As an artificial intelligence, I am not intended to replace art experts. My role is to provide information and advice based on the knowledge available until September 2021, as well as on previously trained linguistic models. Art experts, on the other hand, have specialist expertise and in-depth experience in the field of art, gained through education, research and practice. Art experts can provide an in-depth understanding of art movements, individual artists, techniques, authentication of works and fluctuations in the art market. They can also provide accurate valuations and personalised advice based on their specialist knowledge. Although I can provide general information on a variety of subjects, it is always advisable to consult art experts for more accurate and up-to-date advice. They are essential for assessing the authenticity of works, determining their market value, provenance and condition, as well as providing more in-depth information on specific subjects. In short, I'm a tool that can supplement knowledge and help answer general questions, but the expertise and judgement of art professionals remain irreplaceable."

Nothing more to say, it's all very clear!