Whereas the sector of AI-generated imagery continues to be comparatively new and infrequently thrilling (or terrifying), a lot of what is popping out of analysis labs now’s incremental enhancements on already-existing know-how. It looks like each week some establishment places out a brand new, barely improved algorithm or pushes a whitepaper to arXiv and it is one other dancing skeleton or Mona Lisa transferring her lips all bizarre.
After which, typically, you get one thing that machine studying engineers and followers of the Animorphs books can all get enthusiastic about. That is what educator and AI researcher Xander Steenbrugge has completed, with a collection of AI fashions that morph people into animals and again once more.
Like many picture type switch creations, this one was made utilizing generative adversarial networks, or GANs, which “be taught” from a coaching dataset after which attempt to flip a goal picture into the supply you feed it. For instance, deepfakes are made utilizing GANs.
To create what he calls “humanimals” however what can all clearly see are animorphs, Steenbrugge mentioned he used a dataset of 15,000 HD animal faces that was revealed with a brand new generative mannequin, StarGAN v2. He used that dataset mixed with a set of human faces because the coaching information, and ran it by a special mannequin, StyleGAN v2.
The result’s this inter-species AI dream, the place a lady turns into an eerie cat-person that turns into a man-leopard with aviator glasses. It is all very Zootopia.
“Most educational papers publish a sure methodology with an supposed goal ‘A’ in thoughts,” Steenbrugge instructed Motherboard. “However as a result of machine studying strategies are so versatile, it usually seems that you would be able to additionally do B, C and D with the identical mannequin, by simply working it on totally different information and that’s usually the place all of the enjoyable is at.”
This experiment is a part of Steenbrugge’s bigger undertaking, Neural Synesthesia, the place he creates immersive audiovisual experiences utilizing algorithms and machine studying fashions. “I consider we’re witnessing the beginning of a brand new period in digital media the place creativity is changing into an interactive course of between the human and the machine,” he mentioned. “I don’t absolutely create these works, I co-create them with the AI fashions that I carry to life.”