via Brett Tingley of Mysterious Universe
It seems like each week there’s some new development in artificial intelligence that causes everyone to freak out and proclaim the end of human superiority. Well, this is another one of those weeks. AI researchers at computing hardware manufacturer Nvidia have designed what is being billed as one of the first artificial intelligence networks with a working imagination. The system can create realistic (if not real) looking videos of fictional events using simple inputs, similar to how the human mind can imagine abstract or fictional scenarios based on a thought. Should we be frightened? How frightened?
So far, not that frightened. The technology is still in its infancy, and has only been used in what researchers call “image-to-image translation,” or altering video clips and photos in small ways such as changing the setting from night to day, changing human subjects’ hair color, or switching a dog to one of another breed. Still, that’s pretty impressive if you think about it. Nvidia’s Ming-Yu Liu says that their system is the first to be able to do so simply by ‘imagining’ the new image or scene, as opposed prior similar systems which faced the problem of having to compile massive sets of data based on prior examples and extrapolating from those data:
We are among the first to tackle the problem, [and] there are many applications. For example, it rarely rains in California, but we’d like our self-driving cars to operate properly when it rains. We can use our method to translate sunny California driving sequences to rainy ones to train our self-driving cars.
While it’s unlikely we’ll see the end of any reality, we might see the creation of fully-fledged alternate realities. Without a doubt, this technology will someday be used to distort or
obfuscate the truth here in our own reality. What is reality other than what we make of it, anyway? Recent events have shown us that it’s getting more and more difficult to discern truth from
fiction in mass media; what will happen once completely real-looking video can be conjured up from the twisted imaginations of rogue AI systems? Of course, the same fears arose over the invention
of moving pictures. Is this just the latest advancement in graphic and animation software, or could something more nefarious be brewing?