Nightmare face haunts AI art and there’s a reason we shouldn’t look away

(ORDO NEWS) — She’s out there somewhere, lurking in a parallel universe of possibilities. All you have to do to bring her to life is to enter the right clue into the AI ​​image generator.

Like a digital spell, the words will reveal the eerie face of a middle-aged woman with dead eyes, a blank stare and an anxious grimace.

Her name is Loab (pronounced “lobe”) and she was “discovered” by a Swedish artist who goes by the Twitter name Supercomposite.

Supercomposite is one of the first wave of modern creators that explores the realms of artificial intelligence generators that convert text into an image.

This year, while experimenting with negative cues (which require machine learning algorithms to find the extreme opposite of something), the artist stumbled upon a creepy face.

When Supercomposite ran the prompt again, they said the same woman had returned, this time next to the word “loab”.

“AI reproduced her more easily than most celebrities. Her presence is constant and she haunts every image she touches,” Supercomposite tweeted in a September 2022 thread about Loab’s discovery.

“Sit down. This is a real horror story, which abruptly changes to a gloomy one. ”

With a hook like this, it’s no wonder Loab has taken the internet by storm. The image of this mysterious woman is now so famous that she even has her own Wikipedia page.

Part of the mystery of the Loab lies in what it represents. The Loab figure has become a kind of modern “tronie” – an art form of the Dutch Golden Age that exaggerates facial expression – one that represents not a person, but an idea.

The allegory of Loab is a little scarier than, say, the plot of the more famous throne called Girl with a Pearl Earring.

What’s more, it wasn’t done by a human artist who could tell us more about the idea they were trying to make.

Among the hundreds of Loab iterations created by Supercomposite, many elements were dismembered or screamed. children in the background.

Some of the AI-generated images were so grotesque that the artist decided not to release them publicly.

“I tore the Loab apart and put it back together. I can’t search using text queries,” the artist writes on Twitter.

“Sooner or later she finds everyone. You just need to know where to look,” adds Supercomposite.

Loab attracted the attention of the whole world, not only for its nightmarish qualities. Pulled out of the abyss by what Supercomposite calls “an unforeseen statistical fluke,” the creepy woman represents a new era of creativity for which we may or may not be ready.

Brendan Murphy, a photographer and lecturer in digital media at Central Queensland University in Australia, spends most of his free time thinking about the future of artificial intelligence and selective image and text generators.

With the recent explosion of technology, he believes the art world is heading for a paradigm shift, much like it did in the early 1800s when photography hit the scene.

Today, when Murphy uses AI to create art, he thinks of it like landscape photography as he roams the area looking for interesting things to capture. . Except that in this case the landscape he explores is a kind of parallel universe of human art.

After all, AI generators are trained in human knowledge, culture, and art traditions, which means we could believably made everything they created.

These untapped possibilities are now available to the people, and Murphy and Supercomposite were among the first to join the hunt.

“There are things that you see that interest you, that you really want to expand and really want to move in that direction,” Murphy explains to ScienceAlert.

“There is no reason to follow these paths. And there are probably really good reasons why people never went down those paths. Because it will probably never impress anyone or sell anything.”

This is not to say that using AI to create art is a breeze. Instead, according to Murphy, artificial intelligence is a tool that artists can use to advance their artistic practice. And from time to time such a precious figure as Loab appears from the abyss.

“I think Loab is a great story. It’s not just about technology. technologies. He looks at the possibilities of the technology,” he explains.

“And I think it’s great. I think this is the right piece of art. Much more correct than just creating a specific AI image. Lots of thinking, lots of experimentation, lots of iteration.”

Ann Ploin, a digital sociologist at the Oxford Internet Institute who studies the potential impact of machine learning on creative work, shares a similar view. .

“AI models can extrapolate in unexpected ways [and] draw attention to a completely unrecognized factor in a certain style of painting,” says Ploin.

“But machine learning models are not. They are not autonomous. They are not going to create new art directions on their own.”

Murphy and other art historians find it doubtful that AI will erase human creativity. activity, at least not entirely. After all, art only exists if people value it, and we as a species are pretty biased about our abilities.

In the future, AI-generated artwork may encourage us to question artistic conventions and explore our emotional responses to images, says Murphy.

But we are entering a world in which many writing and drawing services may become redundant, putting many visionary writers, illustrators, designers and photographers out of work.

The explosion of AI-generated art in recent months has raised concerns that algorithms are robbing artists of their various styles.

The best human artists will undoubtedly continue to compete with artificial intelligence, and Murphy suspects that it is those creators who rely on their humanity that will succeed the most in the future.

A tangible and real public face and identity can be more important to artists than ever before.

“Regardless of how apps like Lensa change the way art is created, the personality of an artist remains an important context for their work,” Murphy recently wrote in The Conversation.

ChatGPT is an AI based text generator that was publicly released in November 2022. Its name stands for Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer, with a mechanism based on estimating the likelihood that certain words follow each other in a text block, not unlike an enhanced version of your phone’s text prediction feature.

As with Loab, there is a ghostly presence in the program’s responses that tests the limits of human knowledge and creativity.

It doesn’t take long for the plywood to fall away, though, revealing its wiring in the form of a dice-playing “parrot” that’s betting on making the right strings of words to fool us.

Any wisdom he gives is still left to us to sort out and judge. When asked how AI is changing art, ChatGPT agrees with Murphy:

“Artificial intelligence is changing the way we create, perceive and experience art.

AI algorithms can be used to create new forms such as music, poetry and visual arts.

These algorithms can also be used to analyze and interpret existing works of art in new and interesting ways.

In addition, AI technology is being used to create interactive art installations and performances that can react and engage with viewers in real time.

In general, artificial intelligence allows artists to create and explore new forms of expression, and viewers to perceive art in a new and exciting way.”

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