This Person Does Not Exist

She was created by an adversarial neural network.

The idea that this is possible is both amazing and terrifying.

I can see many positive applications for this. For my part, I’ve been thinking of using it as inspiration for character apperances. There is no need for me to ground my character’s appearence on a real person, when there are computers that can generate fictional people. My characters will be completely unique.

On the flip side, real looking people, stories, and evidence can be generated by a computer. If a computer can recreate faces with such impressive detail, what other visual elements can they fabricate on the fly? Photoshop and CG have been around for awhile. We already can’t trust what we see, but with AI able to generate original images instantly, the capacity for indecipherable realistic fake images will skyrocket. We truly wont be able to believe any sort of photographic evidence anymore.

I am still optimistic about what other things this sort of AI could be capable of. I looked up the possibility of AI writing novels, or at least synopses of novels, and came across Janelle Shane‘s pet neural network. She wanted to get her pet neural network to generate potential first lines for a novel by training it on famous first lines from novels. Her data set turned out to be a little small and the neural network basically just rearranged snippets of lines and spit them back out; so she asked for help and created a google form to which people could submit first lines.

She gathered over ten thousand potential first lines and the neural network began generating, if not good first lines, at least grammatically correct ones. It also created some doozies. Go ahead and have a look for yourself at her post about it.

I am still excited though. I think this technology could be very handy as a support tool for writers. I don’t actually want an AI to be able to write good novels. I want it to be able to write really terrible pieces of potentially good novels that writers can use as jumping off points. I want completely original ideas to come out of bots writing story synopses that a human might not have come up with because of our limited experience. I want a bot to be able to shake me of my writers’ block by completing my sentence, or suggesting the beginning of my next line when I can’t think of where to go next. I want a fiction autocomplete. I don’t think we’re far off. Even some of the first lines generated by Janelle’s neural network could inspire a good story.

I can’t wait to see what’s next.

For more on the This Person Does Not Exist project, watch this video:

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