Two of the MIT researchers behind the provocative Deep Angel project, an algorithm that digitally erases objects from photos, have now delivered a strange and beautiful system to "conjure phantasms into being."
According to the project developers Matt Groh and Ziv Epstein, the phantasmagoric AI Spirits manifested by their code are meant to "commemorate those missing via algorithmic omission."
"In AI and robotics, we talk a lot about "the uncanny valley,” where stuff is human-like enough to make it seem plausible, but small deviations from our expectation of humans lead to a very creepy result," Epstein writes in an email to me. "AI Spirits in particular explores this uncanny valley by actually leaning into and appreciating the erroneous, distorted and bizarre output of these deep neural nets..."
Where Deep Angel is tasked with removing people from images, Groh and Epstein fed all of that image data into AI Spirits so it could learn how to insert rough, but believable, approximations of people. Spirits, you might say.
"This model maps scenes with missing people to scenes with people. So, it is not exactly detecting humans and altering them to glitched out spirits. Instead, it's a process of disappearing humans and then reimagining humans from what it knows about people in images," writes Groh in an email.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, mudlarks were people who sifted through the mud on the banks of the River Thames to find things of value. Ted Sandling keeps the dream alive. He compiled his curious collection in a book, London in Fragments: A Mudlark’s Treasures, and you can also follow his finds on Instagram. […]
On this day in 1966, Buzz Aldrin took the first selfie in space while standing on his seat and hanging out of an open hatch as part of the Gemini XII mission. From NASA: This “stand up” EVA (the first of three during the mission) was conducted with the hatch off while Aldrin stood on […]
NASA’s Juno spacecraft took this glamour shot of Jupiter on October 29, 2018, from about 4,400 miles (7,000) kilometers above the planet’s clouds. From NASA: A multitude of magnificent, swirling clouds in Jupiter’s dynamic North North Temperate Belt is captured in this image… Appearing in the scene are several bright-white “pop-up” clouds as well as […]
There are two times you never want to just “eyeball” it: Conducting brain surgery and matching shades of paint for your walls. Whether you’re painting or repainting, make sure you’re never just “close enough” to the color you want. Not when the Nix Mini Color Sensor can scan and match any color perfectly. Small enough […]
In photography as in film, all the real artistry is in post-production – increasingly so, with the new possibilities cropping up in digital imaging. If you’re ready to get serious about your photography, may we suggest HDR Projects 2018 Pro. As working photographers can tell you, this imaging software can help you re-imagine even the […]
A picture can be worth a heck of a lot more than just a thousand words. If you’ve squinted for ages trying to get just the right photo, you might have the right passion for a career behind the camera. You might even have the right equipment, but do you have the know-how? The Beginner-To-Expert […]