AI Has Learned To Make Nude Art But It Might Be The Least Sexy Thing You'll Ever See

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Let’s just say that we’re quite glad robots haven’t taken over the world just yet. Because we’re not sure we’re ready for AI art.

That includes these rather odd artificial intelligence-generated nude portraits, which AI researcher Robbie Barrat posted to Twitter. He used what’s called a Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) and fed it thousands of nude portraits, before asking it to make its own. The results are, well, pretty odd.

“Usually the machine just paints people as blobs of flesh with tendrils and limbs randomly growing out – I think it's really surreal,” Barrat wrote on Twitter. “I wonder if that's how machines see us...”

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Speaking to CNET, Barrat said that the GAN uses two neural networks, a generator, and a discriminator. These work against each other, and gradually improve over time. Although that’s not always the case.

"In this case, the generator keeps generating fleshy blobs that fool the discriminator pretty well, so overall they stop getting better at painting," he said.  

The images show a variety of oddly shaped women in various poses, some drawn in really quite abstract way. By looking at other nude portraits, the neural networks were able to try and work out what the figures should look like.

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One particularly unusual thing is that all of the heads and faces appear with a similar yellow and purple texture. Barrat said he didn’t know why the AI was doing that, “but I like it.”

Most of the portraits used to train the AI come from centuries ago. Barrat compared his works to Sol LeWitt, a 20th-century American artist famed for starting the Conceptual art movement.

But while they perhaps don’t look too impressive just yet, they may give us a glimpse of what’s to come in the future.

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“Imagine in a hundred years when AI can create infinities of staggering artworks, symphonies, cuisines, and novels in the blink of an eye,” one person wrote on Twitter.

“When we teach the AI to formulate its thoughts, it will be the weirdest stuff ever,” said another.

“As someone studying Art History I’m so interested in seeing how art evolves – especially right now in an era of rapid technology development,” added one more.

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