hELlo. I lOvE yOu. CaN I tOuCh yOu?

AI generated woman's smiling face in front of a humanoid shape with smashed-up featuresI discovered This Person Does Not Exist recently. It’s a fascinating project, in which two competing and opposing systems form a GAN – a Generative Adversial Network for machine learning. In short, while some machine learning attempts to minimise the distance to a specific image, a GAN has a system generating images in an attempt to fool another system which is there to identify fakes. Most of the images are impressive in how boring they are, but every so often the AI throws up an image that attempts to give the main subject a friend.

It almost never works. And every single one of these aberrations hits the low topography of the Uncanny Valley.

Maybe it’s because I watched a lot of Johnny Morris as a child, but I find it impossible to resist inventing conversations between these… Beings? Creatures? Whatever. Between them and their human companions.

 

A young boy looks direct to camera, smiling slightly. To his right is a misshapen head with one ear sticking out like a cup handle.When Barry was told his family was going to play host to one of the aliens as they attempted to learn about humans, he was initially delighted. It took a while to get used to Blogfert’s attempts to pass as human, not to mention his belief he should appear in every single photo Barry’s mum took, especially when Barry was the subject.


A smiling man looks direct at camera. What appears to be a fist with an eye looks over his right shoulder.“Friend Gok! Look! If I put an eye onto a fist, I can check myself for errant wood-based orifice cleansing material after exiting the emanation facility! I have the BEST ideas.”

 


A young girl looks directly at the camera, smiling. A fleshy appendage is close to her chin.“If you do not smile, I will rest my soft appendage upon your person. Your previous sonic emanations lead me to the supposition this does not delight you.”


A serious woman looks directly at the camera. There are flaws in the rendering of her face that look like artificial material showing through.“Thank you for agreeing to a date night, designated owner. It is my happiness to entertain you. Please excuse me for the mishap rendering my outward demeanour only 72.7% aligned with your preference. I did not expect making salted caramel to be so violent. Do not worry, HOOMANS [TM] will service my flesh skin under warranty.”


A bearded man looks to the right with a bemused expression. Something that resembles a hand with many fingers curled into a loose fist strokes his right cheek.“Mate, I know you THINK that looks just like a human hand, but no.”
“You cannot tell me that I have failed to replicate your appendage, friend Jeremy. Observe! The texture is identical.”
“Largog, mate, did we ever establish whether your species could actually count?”
“I can have no limbs or many, friend Jeremy. We count in base 23. This is an approximation, and, if I say so myself, a pretty darn good one.”
“Oh mate, no. Just no.”


A small boy looks directly at the camera with a self-satisfied smile. Something very strange that looks like it is made of flesh, teeth and hair is on his right.“Hey, psst. Charlie. Did I ever tell you about the time I had to squeeze into a bottle to hide from Mrs Gilfencamp, but I’d just been showing Sheniah that I could have hairy armpits if I wanted to? Here. Turn round. This is what it looked like.”
“Yes, Flimgon, you told me last week. Shut up. I’m thinking about the expression on my big sister’s face when she finds out I’ve left one of your disgusting shapeshift boogers in her Fluevogs.”


A man wearing glasses looks aghast to the left while some sort of fleshy appendage strikes his face.“HEY. Do NOT insult Friend Jeremy! I strike you in your monomorphic mandible!”


I suspect lockdown is starting to get to me.

My thanks to all the wonderful peeps on my facebook thread for supplying me with some of these images, and to Phil Wang at the University of Michigan for the prompt machine.

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