The MIT group calls itself “How to Generate (Almost) Anything,” and it wants to make AI available to the masses.
AI Creations- It’s date night! Time to throw on your oversized graduation cap and ruffly shirt, spritz yourself with some of your new “Hivinga” perfume, and meet your better half for some sweet potato, beans, and brie pizza covered with “snipped caramel cheese.”
Wait, what? Things that don’t seem quite right here. Oh, right, that’s because a series of artificial intelligence algorithms were custom-built to generate new clothing designs, pizza recipes, and perfumes.
Whatever bizarre (and, frankly, unappetizing) ideas the AI systems conjured were built by a group of MIT researchers and students called How to Generate (Almost) Anything. The team builds and trains algorithms that can tackle seemingly creative tasks to come up with brand new designs for each week’s theme. The researchers then build, bake, or stitch together whatever the AI system came up with. Their goal: these strange, unusable things will help the average person understand and appreciate what AI can do, and what it can’t yet.
Most of the projects used machine learning algorithms that, upon being trained with thousands of examples of pizzas and perfume recipes, spat out unique creations that were sort of like the thing they were supposed to create, but just a little bit off. Often, the results were outlandish and alien. For instance, several pizzas called for fictional ingredients or skipped crucial steps in the baking process.
But two of the projects, the algorithms that designed dresses and graffiti, used a generative adversarial network (GAN), a type of algorithm used to create things that seem like the real deal. As a result, the fashionbot and graffitibot were a touch less goofy than all the others.