Emily L. Spratt

Emily L. Spratt

Byzantine and Renaissance Art
Art and Artificial Intelligence
Ph.D., Princeton University, 2020


Emily L. Spratt specializes in Byzantine and Venetian Renaissance art, the uses of emerging technologies in the arts, and the ethics of artificial intelligence. Currently, she is writing two markedly dissimilar books, one on generative AI and the art of disruptive innovation, and the other—based on her dissertation—examining the artistic and cultural legacy of Byzantium in the early modern period. Emily first joined Columbia University as a post-doctoral research fellow in the Data Science Institute in affiliation with the Program in Historic Preservation and the Department of Computer Science after earning her doctorate from the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University, where she was also a Stanley J. Seeger Fellow in Hellenic Studies. Emily received her Master of Arts degrees from Princeton University and the University of California, Los Angeles, and Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University.

In the nascent field of art and high technology, Emily has been a Visiting Assistant Professor in visual culture, AI ethics, and diplomacy at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C., and a Visiting Assistant Professor in Art, Media, and AI at Masaryk University in Brno. She has collaborated with persons and entities such as Alain Passard and L’Arpège on The Gastronomic Algorithms, The Campari Group and Unit9 Production on Fellini Forward, Artory, the Art and AI Lab at Rutgers University, where she was also the curator of the AICAN art collection, and AmazeWallet on Eternal Fuji with Tetsuya Komuro and Sou A. Kou. Recognized by the Office of President Emmanuel Macron for her pioneering research in AI, especially as it is applied to the arts, Emily was honored to have been appointed the art curator of the Global Forum on AI for Humanity in Paris.

In the cultural heritage sector, Emily has experience with the Hellenic Ministry of Culture, where she worked on the recognition of Corfu as a world heritage site with UNESCO through the 21st Byzantine Ephorate. In the museum world, Emily was the high technology advisor and a research fellow at The Frick Collection and Art Reference Library, and at the Princeton University Art Museum she assisted on the exhibition Architecture as Icon, Perception and Representation of Architecture in Byzantine Art. In Greece, she gained experience at the Byzantine and Christian Museum of Athens working on the reinstalment of the permanent collection, at the Antivouniotissa Museum of Byzantine Art in Corfu building the education program, and at the Benaki Museum in Athens assisting on the exhibition Tamata, Tokens of Worship.

Emily is the recipient of fellowships and awards from The Frick Collection and Art Reference Library, the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, the Montreal AI Ethics Institute, the Onassis Foundation, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute, The American Research Center in Sofia, the Vittore Branca Research Center of the Cini Foundation in Venice, the President’s Office of the University of California, Los Angeles, the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, the Institute of European Studies at Cornell University, and the Hellenic Ministry of Culture.

Selected Publications

“The Augmented Dataset: Artistic Appropriations of GANs and their Bearings on Ethical Considerations of AI,” DHNord Conference Proceedings, Maison des Sciences de l’Homme de Lille, Septentrion Press, Winter 2021.

“On the Gothic Edits of Notre Dame de Paris,” Future Anterior, University of Minnesota Press, 2021.

“The Kunstwollen of the Machine-Learned Image: Reflections on Riegl’s Legacy and the Ethics of Predictive Image-Based AI for Art History and Historic Preservation,” in The Fragment in the Digital Age, Journal of the Hornemann Institute, Volume 21, Hildesheim, May 2021.

“Gastronomic Algorithms: Artistic and Sensory Exploration of Alain Passard’s Michelin Plates in the Manner of Giuseppe Arcimboldo with GANs,” Leonardo, MIT Press, March 2021.

“The Optimism of Ethical Frameworks for AI: Reconsiderations of the Binary Perspectives on Emerging Technologies and the Role of the Humanities in the Discourse,” State of AI Ethics Report, The Montreal AI Ethics Institute (MAIEI), January 2021.

Ingenium, Inventio, Vis, Facilitas: Western Influences in Post-Byzantine Art and the Question of Imitability,” in Patterns, Models, Drawings, eds. Emmanuel Moutafov and Margarita Kuyumdzhieva, Art Readings, Volumes I-II, Institute of Art Studies, Bulgarian Academy of the Sciences, Sofia, January 2020.

“Optimizing Computer Vision Technology for Autonomous Learning Investment Strategies,” Michael Weinberg (co-author), Alternative Investment Management Association Journal (AIMA Journal), Edition 117, January 2019.

“Curating the Visual Landscape of Our Digital World,” Discoveries, Photoarchive, The Frick Collection and Art Reference Library, May 4, 2018.

“Malala and ‘Unhuman: Art in the Age of AI,’” XRDS Magazine, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), Vol. 24, no. 2, March 2018.

“Computers and Art in the Age of Machine Learning,” INIT Feature Article, XRDS Magazine, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), Vol. 24, no. 2, March 2018.

“Creation, Curation, and Classification: A Conversation between Mario Klingemann and Emily L. Spratt,” XRDS Magazine, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), Vol. 24, no. 2, March 2018.

“Why the Louvre needs a Byzantine art section,” Apollo, The International Art Magazine, February 2, 2018.

“Representations of the Liturgy in the Visual Arts,” in Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception, eds. Dale C. Allison Jr., Christine Helmer, Choon-Leon Seow, et al., De Gruyter, Winter 2017.

“Dream Formulations and Deep Neural Networks: Humanistic Themes in the Iconology of the Machine-Learned Image,” Kunsttexte, Press of Humboldt-Universität Berlin, December 2017.

“Computational Beauty: Aesthetic Judgment at the Intersection of Art and Science,” Ahmed Elgammal (second author), in Computer Vision: ECCV Conference Proceedings 2014, Springer, Fall 2014.

“Toward a Definition of ‘Post-Byzantine’ Art: The Angleton Collection at the Princeton University Art Museum,” Record of the Princeton University Art Museum 71, June 2014, double issue (2013–14).

“New Acquisitions,” Princeton University Art Museum Magazine, J. Michael Padgett (co-author), PUAM, Fall 2011.