Some prizes just keep on giving: from our nerds in the research lab

Posted 30 March 2024 02:03 PM

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Igor my standby sql programmer and his pals were too busy to help me out the other week, so I turned to ChatGPT to see what it could do with (plain English) queries that ranged over the extensive prize data that we have access to. By the time I was finished he was none too happy that we no longer needed him to write nerdy sql statements any longer. You might think this is a giant nothing burger but it really isnt.

The freedom that comes from using powerful AI to review large datasets by anyone is going to make researching documented exhibitions, artist cvs and books much more thorough and bring forward fascinating results as curators and gallerists familiarise themselves with this technology. Talking about ChatGPT, I wonder when will someone get to building a version for applying for grants?

Just to try it out, I put the following questions to ChatGPT. I wanted to see whether an artist who has been selected as a finalist for a prize once has a better chance being selected in subsequent years. The following is what ChatGPT pumped out. It is worth remembering that this isnt exhaustive data, just what we have managed to collect.

Q: using our data, what percentage of artists have been selected for the same prize in different years - like repeatedly selected (i.e. in say 2023 and any prior year)?

A: 2023, approximately 18.49% have been selected for the same prize in prior years. 2022, approximately 16.68% have been selected for the same prize in prior years.

Q: what % of finalists exhibiting in the 2023 Sulman Prize had been selected in a prior year?

A: There were 16 artists who were finalists in the 2023 Sulman Prize and had been selected as finalists in prior years (36.6%)

Q: for the following 2023 prizes see what the % of artists are that had also been selected in a prior year for the Archibald Prize, Mosman Art Prize, Glover Prize, Paddington Art Prize, and the Portia Geach Memorial Award

A: Archibald Prize: 34 out of 58 finalists (58.62%) Mosman Art Prize: 21 out of 91 finalists (23.08%) Glover Prize: 19 out of 42 finalists (45.24%) Paddington Art Prize: 17 out of 53 finalists (32.08%) Portia Geach Memorial Award: 37 out of 54 finalists (68.52%)

Note: I havent verified these numbers.

This is more about seeing how ChatGPT can work with our data.

Here is another question I put to ChatGPT:

Q: order the prizes in 2023/24 that offer prize money greater than $50,000, ordered by prize money in descending order:

  • A: Telstra National Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Art Awards - $190,000
  • Queensland Regional Art Awards - $140,000
  • Ramsay Art Prize - $115,000The Lester Prize for Portraiture - $115,000
  • Archibald Prize - $108,000
  • Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship - $100,000
  • Bluethumb Art Prize - $100,000
  • Hadleys Art Prize - $100,000Brisbane Portrait Prize - $90,000
  • Glover Prize - $84,000Muswellbrook Art Prize - $70,000
  • Collie Art Prize - $67,000
  • Mosman Art Prize - $62,000W
  • ynne Prize - $56,000

Here is the final question I tried:

Q: which of the 2024 Glover Prize finalists have won a prize in any other prize?

A: see graphic below.

Finalists

This is a great way to work with our datasets without using a specialist database programmer, so see ya later Igor. Once again, nothing has been verified other than having ChatGPT do its creepy thing with the data.

This is a great way to work with our datasets without using a specialist database programmer, so see ya later Igor. Once again, nothing has been verified other than having ChatGPT do its creepy thing with the data.