I’m an art expert — I use AI to expose sellers of fake paintings on sites like eBay

She has an AI for fakes.

Dr. Carina Popovici, a specialist in authenticating art work, revealed that she makes use of synthetic intelligence to spot fraudulent paintings offered on sites reminiscent of eBay.  

Her course of entails utilizing AI know-how to analyze photos marketed on a retailer’s website that in lots of instances has detected a “high probability” of being “not authentic,” she told the Guardian in a story published Wednesday.

So far, the expert has unveiled 40 counterfeit paintings, together with a fake work by Claude Monet, titled “Forest With a Stream” and priced at $599,000, and an alleged research by Claude Renoir for $165,000.

The ‘Renoir’
The “Renoir” was listed on eBay for $165,000. eBay

“The algorithm identified all of them as fakes,” she informed the outlet.

“We looked today and we downloaded some images, and there were fakes all over the place,” Popovici added. “Everything that we have analyzed turns out to be not real art, a negative probability with 95% or so. 

“I’m sure that this is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Despite eBay’s “Counterfeit item policy” that states, “We don’t allow counterfeit items or unauthorized copies to be listed,” the expert was ready to catch just a few. 

The Florida vendor behind the “Renoir” itemizing, who goes by Metasis on eBay, informed the Guardian they don’t promote fake art work. However, the merchandise was eliminated after they have been contacted by the publication. 

The “Monet” itemizing — whose vendor is predicated in Millersburg, Ohio — remained lively. 

The “Monet” art work value $599,000 on eBay however had a “high probability” of being “not authentic.” eBay

“I fully guarantee that the painting is an original 1867 oil on canvas signed and dated by Claude Monet. The painting is not in perfect condition and I do not have any provenance beyond me having it for over 20 years,” the eBay itemizing learn. 

Popovici, the top of  the Swiss art authentication firm Art Recognition, notified eBay in December 2023 about issues over dishonest on-line gross sales and urged it to require “the seriousness it deserves.”

After a number of emails, the specialist nonetheless hasn’t heard from eBay, she informed the Guardian — and the corporate’s silence and seeming indifference perplexes her.

“I tried so hard to talk to them. I’m extremely frustrated that they don’t answer. I’m really very disturbed about this. They have a responsibility. They can’t just pretend that they don’t see what is happening because there is so much of this. There are clear indications that there is a major problem there,” Popovici mentioned.

A spokesperson for eBay informed The Post that the “sale of counterfeit items is strictly prohibited” and that the corporate is “committed to ensuring that goods sold on our platform are authentic,” explaining:

“We do this by using multiple layers of AI technology, professionally trained eBay investigators, and buyer protection programs. eBay proactively blocked 99.2% of item violations from being published in 2023, while removing 2.7 million items from the platform following a review by our investigation teams. When counterfeit items are reported to eBay directly, we review and remove listings when appropriate.

“In this case, only one item was flagged to us and it was removed immediately,” the spokesperson concluded concerning the questioned merchandise.

Meanwhile, Popovici’s work with Art Recognition has allowed greater than 500 items of art worldwide to be examined for authenticity utilizing only a {photograph}.

The AI system additionally confirmed some contested works of art, reminiscent of an 1889 self-portrait by Vincent van Gogh on the National Museum in Oslo, Norway.

“In the past, it was really difficult to spot these things because you can’t take samples from an image on the internet. But with the new technology, it’s easy. You can just download an image, and then in 10 minutes, you will know,” Popovici mentioned.

“I think that people should be warned.”

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