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Saudi Arabia creates the future of art with Artathon competition that merges artistic creativity with artificial intelligence.

Artathon, an initiative of the Global AI Summit, aims to find the first Picasso of data science.

Riyadh, 22 December, 2019: Riyadh is set to host the ‘Artathon’, a competition which brings together artists and artificial intelligence experts, to create art using advanced artificial intelligence tools, techniques and methods.

The Artathon (combining ‘art’ with ‘hackathon’) is an initiative by the Global AI Summit, to explore AI Art and to encourage co-operation in this new field of creativity.

The program begins in January 2020 with a competition to select 20 teams from 300 delegates. The teams will then participate in an intensive development program from 26th January until 30th March to create visual art. The artworks will be curated into an exhibition which will be held as part of the Global AI Summit, taking place in Riyadh on 30-31 March 2020.

His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Bin Sharaf Al-Ghamdi, President of the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority, and Chairman of the Supreme Supervisory Committee of the Global AI Summit, said that the Artathon is the first initiative of the Global AI Summit.

“Artathon will mark the first ever AI art program for Saudi Arabia. Around the world there is a growing movement of ‘AI Art’ where humans and machines collaborate using artificial intelligence, machine learning, image analysis and other digital technologies to create new artworks,” said HE Dr. Abdullah.

“AI has already been used to create paintings, drawings, music and poems and through Artathon we aim to make Saudi Arabia a new global centre for the development of AI Art as a field of study and creative endeavor,” added HE Dr. Abdullah.

“Artathon is a creative and fun event, and at the same time it also has the higher goal of demonstrating how artificial intelligence is contributing to changing the world. The Artathon also reflects the goals and ambitions of the Global AI Summit, which will put Saudi Arabia at the centre of global discussions on artificial intelligence, and the use of this new technology in business and industry, as well as in arts and culture, sports and other areas,” concluded HE Dr. Abdullah.

Artathon starts with a three-day assessment competition in Riyadh from 23rd to 25th January 2020, during which teams will be formed and initial ideas will be presented and evaluated. Registration to the event is open to all nationalities to participate.

Twenty teams will be selected from the competition to participate in a training program, which launches on 26th January. Teams will participate in knowledge workshops and training courses, with support from expert mentors, to learn AI tools, coding techniques, and AI design.

An international panel of judges drawn from different fields of AI will select ten concepts of AI Art, which will then be displayed at the exhibition in Riyadh. The ten best artworks produced through the Artathon will be awarded with cash prizes, with SAR500,000 (US$133,000) shared by the top three teams. please see

The Artathon program is supported by strategic partners the Ministry of Culture and the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming. in addition to several leading Saudi universities and telecommunications companies.


Taking place in Riyadh in March 2020, the Global AI Summit connects key decision makers from government and public sector, academia, industry and enterprise, technology companies, investors, entrepreneurs and startups, to initiate discussions and collaboration on artificial intelligence, including its applications, impact on social and economic development, and the global challenges and opportunities that are created by AI. The Global AI Summit will be held at the King Abdul Aziz International Conference Center and Ritz Carlton Hotel on 30-31st March 2020.