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.
I always thought that the reason people look so grim in antique photos is because it would have been exhausting to hold a smile for long exposures that I imagined were required by ye olde cameras. Nope! From the always-informative Smithsonian magazine: …Exposures from the early days of commercial photography only lasted about 5 to […]
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first human Moon landing on July 20, Vernacular photography collector Robert E. Jackson curated a lovely collection of vintage snapshots related to the Moon. I’ve always gotten a kick out of how TV viewers around the world used to snap photos of their screens to commemorate momentous […]
Astrophotographer Ralf Vandebergh captured an image of the US Air Force’s X-37B space plane in orbit. The reusable, uncrewed space vehicle, designated OTV-5, is on a secret testing mission since its launch in September 2017. From Vandebergh’s post at Spaceweather.com: I have been hunting for the OTV-5 since months and saw it visually in May. […]
Whether you’re using them for next-level selfies or steady tracking shots, gimbals are a must for anyone who wants to maximize the potential of these powerful smartphone cameras we’re all carrying around. But those smartphones are also supposed to be portable, and let’s face it: Gimbals tend to offset that advantage. Weighing in at just […]
It’s too hot for yard sales, but hey: The internet is here for you. Here are the top ten deals on some of the Boing Boing Store’s best gear, just in time for summer. It’s everything from grills to security cameras to MacBook Pros, and they might be as low as they’re ever going to […]
When it comes to getting stats and ideas across quickly, there’s still nothing like a good slide presentation. But the critical word here is “good” – not 20 slides all thrown together with the same stock PowerPoint template. Whether it’s a crucial pitch for a new business or a quarterly report, Slideshop can be a […]