So, you’ve seen what you’d look like when you’re old. Now it’s time for something new, right? Check out AI Portraits Ars, a website which turns your selfies or self-portraits into faux, but realistic-looking (and kinda eerie) classical paintings.
The website was built with help from researchers at the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab. They have trained Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) models on 45,000 portrait images to reproduce human portraits. The AI is able to reproduce the images in different styles and levels of abstraction. The researchers point out that their AI is not a style transfer.
“With AI Portraits Ars anyone is able to use GAN models to generate a new painting, where facial lines are completely redesigned. The model decides for itself which style to use for the portrait. Details of the face and background contribute to direct the model towards a style.
In style transfer, there is usually a strong alteration of colors, but the features of the photo remain unchanged. AI Portraits Ars creates new forms, beyond altering the style of an existing photo.”
I played around with the website a little bit. I had a bit of trouble because it was experiencing huge traffic, so there were quite a few “hiccups” when I tried uploading and downloading the images. Still, I managed to try it out with a few different photos, and the results went from awesome to utterly creepy.
This was the first photo I stumbled upon, so it was the first one I used. I actually quite like the resulting “classical painting:”
Next, I used this photo, and I almost choked on my coffee when I saw the result:
Finally, I used this self-portrait inspired by the video for Black Hole Sun. Sure, the photo itself is pretty creepy, but the resulting “painting” made me want to hide in a basement. From myself. This is probably what my portrait would look like if I were Dorian Gray:
If you’d like to test out the widget, head over to AI Portraits Ars and upload the photo you’d like to turn into a faux classical painting. Keep in mind that a face must be detectable in the image. For example, I tried uploading a photo with 3D glasses and one with my face turned to the side, and the software wasn’t able to detect a face.
In case you’re concerned about privacy, the team writes that your photos are sent to their servers to generate portraits. They note that they won’t use data from your photos for any other purpose, and the photos will immediately be deleted after the “classical” portraits are created.
[via The Verge]