AI Draws New Worlds from Its Artificial Memory

Siebren de Vos
September 15th 2017

Do you recognize this street? Small chances you do, as this street simply doesn't exist, it was generated and drawn by an AI. Researcher Qifeng Chen from Stanford University, California, employs a supercomputer to create images of streets and spaces from its artificial memory.

Using a kindergarten technique, Chen taught the AI to paint by numbers, that is to fill in the shapes with the colours corresponding to the given numbers. A human outlined by hand the objects on existing pictures, so that the AI knew what shape should be coloured as a table, chair, window, lamp and so on. In the picture below you can see how the AI can produce different scenes using this technique.

On the left: input semantic layouts. On the right: synthesized images.

While the pictures produced by the AI still have a dreamy look, imagine its possibilities within a few years. According to Noah Snavely from the Cornell University in New York this is not a problem at the moment, as people are not expecting photorealism in virtual reality yet. One day, Snavely said, it will become possible for an AI to dream up an entire world by simply describing it to the system. Until then we wonder, do systems dream of electric streets?

Source: New Scientist

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