The Wall Street Journal's new hedcut-generating AI created monstrous portraits

Becoming important enough to merit a "hedcut" stippled portrait from the Wall Street Journal used to a be a significant honor. But on Monday, the WSJ announced that all members can now receive a hedcut courtesy of an AI that's been trained over the last year. Along the way, developers ran into some speedbumps. Baldness was one obstacle:

"We had to go through and hand-tag over 2,000 photos, including a lot of bald men, so that the machine would learn what baldness is"

And so was overconfidence:

The most harrowing issue of all was overfitting, which happens when a model fits a limited set of data too closely. In this case, that meant the machine became too satisfied with its artistic ability and began producing terrifying monstrosities like [the portraits seen above].

You can learn more about the process and sign up for your own hedcut here. With any luck, someone will post a program a generate monstrous glitchy versions.

(Via Gene Park.)