AI Generated Coins

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Harry G, Jan 27, 2022.

  1. Harry G

    Harry G Well-Known Member

    Hi all!

    I just saw this post on the r/AncientCoins subreddit, and thought you guys would find it as interesting as I did.

    The original poster (u/disumbrationist) has trained an AI to create new obverses and reverses of imperial denarii, based on 1000s of real coins on OCRE. None of the coins created exist in real life.

    You can read more on the post here; they've explained it a lot better than I ever could.

    Link to their Imgur album of coins:

    Here are "a few" of the coins they generated for those that aren't on Reddit



    My personal favourites are these two reverses.


    And I wish Antoninus Pius struck this Janus-style coin IRL


    They have a lot more on their Imgur post, so make sure to check that out.

    They can even use prompts (such as the names of emperors) to produce coins of that style

    Make sure to show the original poster some love on their Reddit post!

    I find this stuff fascinating - hopefully you do as well :)
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2022
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  3. PeteB

    PeteB Well-Known Member

    Horrible examples. The styles are all wrong.
  4. DonnaML

    DonnaML Well-Known Member

    Not a fan, I'm afraid. Look at the third column from the right in the obverses, the fourth and fifth "emperors" down from the top. And the last column on the right, the fifth one down. The hairstyles are absolutely hilarious!
  5. GinoLR

    GinoLR Well-Known Member

    Artificial intelligence is a form of non-human intelligence, and this is what I find fascinating. The basic algorithms are created by humans and are (relatively) simple, but when the machine is fed with 1000s of images and related captions, it creates connexions so complex that human engineers lose control and we cannot say by what reasoning the machine arrived at such and such a conclusion.

    Things that are important for a human mind may be judged secondary by the machine, for reasons that are difficult to explain. The machine does not share our conscious prejudices, but its way of reasoning may reflect human unconscious prejudices. For example, some AIs have racial bias: their facial recognition accuracy score is much better for white people than for black people, probably because the facial recognition algorithms were written by mostly white people working on photos of mostly white people.

    These flaws are exploited by the military. In several armies tanks are painted in a way that is supposed to fool the embarked AI of drones or missiles, who will take the tank for... a toaster! This is the reason why aircraft industries still develop new warplanes, because drones and cruise missiles are not ready to replace human pilots.

    These AI generated coins are an excellent example. It is obvious the engineers who wrote the basic algorithms did not major in Latin or Classics, thus for the AI the coin legends are secondary, even meaningless, when for a human numismatist they are essential. For the machine it is facial recognition which is essential, hence the good accuracy of imperial portraits, but because facial recognition algorithms purposely ignore hairdos, the AI has no problem generating WTF hairstyles.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2022
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  6. wittwolf

    wittwolf Well-Known Member

    Interesting but the legends often look like they are Romulan instead of Roman ;)
  7. Egry

    Egry Supporter! Supporter

    Cool. They all look like variants or conglomerations of Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius with the odd hairstyle inspired by Faustina.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2022
  8. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member

    Agree! Those abominations have as much resemblance to history as we get from Hollywood movies and historical fiction novels. Fun? Maybe. The sad part is that those images could be published in a glossy auction catalog and draw high bids from people with more money than sense.

    Artificial Intelligence is no better than the human intelligence that programmed it. When the collective contributions of ten thousand human have added up to a style level that would fool coin experts, it would be a small step to make a laser engraver that could turn out deceptive fakes of coins that never were. I'd say the technology now resembles the level of computers available in the 1950's. In another 70 years, AI may have killed the hobby as we know it replaced it with these 'better than real' creations. I plan on being dead before that happens. Will the last collector who cares whether their coins are real please put out the light when you leave.
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  9. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    This type of tech will eventually flood the market with more fakes, that will fool novice collectors. The Chinese will work on producing perfect reproductions of rare classic coins/ that may even fool auction houses. Given their past record of stealing patents/ industrial espionage.
    Back to AI/ how good is it really? I can google search a coin for data/ the sites that come up have nothing to do with my query. The human brain is way superior....
  10. ominus1

    ominus1 Supporter! Supporter

    ..i'd swear i've saw some of those for sale on ebay....:eek:
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  11. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    What I find particularly fascinating is how closely the generated legends come to human-generated legends by engravers illiterate in the language they are imitating... perhaps some common vein of human psychology manifesting through the programming? Apollodotus ii barb imitation.jpg Rouran Bactrian Huvishka elephant imitation Miiro.jpg Western Satraps Rudrasena I.jpg Gupta3.jpg Kushan heraios obol.jpg Parthia Pakoros II drachm.jpg Tetricus I barbarous ODIS AVGI.jpg Barbarous FTR horseman CONSF.jpg Constantine type imitation V XX wreath.jpg Barbarous Constantine VLPP victories trophy.jpg
  12. rrdenarius

    rrdenarius non omnibus dormio Supporter

    Thanks for sharing. I agree with @panzerman that what is interesting to some could generate modern almost ancient coins.
    Maybe in 200 - 400 years we will have a new family of Paduans.
  13. Limes

    Limes Supporter! Supporter

    I find the coins quite funny. Many of the obverses looks like Hadrian's family has a gathering :)

    How about creating an AI that can recognize fakes?
    ominus1 and panzerman like this.
  14. ominus1

    ominus1 Supporter! Supporter

    those are very collectable ..i'd like to find a coin done by the Italian master Giovanni himself...i have seen those made with his dies, but...i'll keep lQQkin' till i find one(the provenance will be great:smuggrin:) the mean time, here's a couple of denarii by the German master, Carl Becker( i can only follow these back to a sale in 1984,but i made the auctionhouse guarantee them "forever" that they were authentic:shifty:..:) IMG_0736.JPG IMG_0737.JPG
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2022
  15. John Anthony

    John Anthony Ultracrepidarian Supporter Dealer

    There is a medallion of Commodus. I wonder if the AI was modeling it...

    Commodus medallion.jpg
  16. Harry G

    Harry G Well-Known Member

    Wow, I haven't seen that medallion before. I wonder why the engraver decided to do such an unusual obverse (why not do both portraits separately, or facing each other?)

    I think the AI only based its creations on early denarii (including republican), so I'd guess it was generated from a 2-faced republican denarius, like this one of C. Fonteius

  17. GinoLR

    GinoLR Well-Known Member

    In fact this medallion shows the god Janus, but one of his two faces was designed after Commodus' features.
    It is one of these Commodian medallions minted for distribution as New Year gifts. This one, dated Tr.P XII Cos. V, is for 1st January 187. Janus is the traditional god of the New Year, and New Year gifts often had an effigy of Janus somewhere, like these early imperial New Year oil lamps featuring a Janus republican as.
    The reverse, "Tellus stabilita", "Earth stabilized", shows an allegory of the Earth, her hand on a celestial globe, resting on a basket under a vine with a bunch of grapes, with four little allegories of the four seasons. The Romans too were annoyed by climatic instability, with sometimes bad crops as a consequence. "There are no more seasons, my good Sir" they probably said too often. This reverse promises the opposite: this year everything will be normal, seasons will come one after another at the right time, crops will come as expected and this year's vintage will be a good one!
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