Have you ever wondered what you’d look like an old timey portrait? You know, the kind of dust-covered, golden-framed oil paintings that hang on the walls of haunted houses, eyes following you as you walk about the room? Well, now you don’t have to guess, because a very terrifying website has invented a classic portrait generator for you to use. Just upload your selfies to aiportraits.com and behold–there’s your face rendered as a piece of classic art. Totally normal, right?
AI Portraits Ars is a widget built by the researchers at the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab that transforms uploaded selfies into fine art by using an algorithm of 45,000 classical portraits. “We have trained Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) models to reproduce human portraits, with different styles and levels of abstraction,” the AI Portraits website explains. The full extent of the science used is a little hard to understand in layman’s terms, but the researchers essentially taught GAN models to generate new paintings based on classic portraits rendered in oil paint, watercolor, or ink.
Unlike previous versions of this technology, the algorithm is not painting over your face, but is instead generating brand new features from scratch. The AI then “decides” which format it will take. If you don’t like the version it comes up with, try another selfie–you’ll be amazed at the different results the site is able to come up with every time.
The website maintains that while photos are sent to the site’s servers to generate the portraits, they won’t use data from the photos for other purposes and will immediately delete them. That makes this technology a bit less scary than the Russian-owned FaceApp, which has been transforming the internet’s faces into older and younger versions of themselves at an extreme cost to privacy.
Of course, privacy concerns notwithstanding, you’ll still have to gaze into your own creepily detached eyes as they exist in AI generator form. Which is it’s own kind of scary, regardless of how impressive this tech is.
Images: AI Portrait Ars