Computers Learn How to Paint Whatever You Tell Them To

Most self-respecting artists wouldn’t agree to paint a portrait of a toilet in the middle of a field. Fortunately, advancements in artificial intelligence have given computers the ability to imagine just about any scenario, no matter how bizarre, and illustrate it. Take a look at this image. It is a collage of toilets in fields, generated from computers’ imaginations. Let that soak in for a minute. Researchers at the University of Toronto have devised a system that allows a user to input keywords—say, “toilet in a field,” or whatever other odd scenario one might think up—and get original, computer-drawn images. Similar projects are under way in AI labs across Silicon Valley. The latest breakthrough is an extension of past research by tech companies, such as Microsoft and Baidu, on describing the contents of an image. This is different from the hallucinatory…


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