Oct 27, 2022

How AI image generators could help robots

Posted by in categories: internet, robotics/AI

AI image generators, which create fantastical sights at the intersection of dreams and reality, bubble up on every corner of the web. Their entertainment value is demonstrated by an ever-expanding treasure trove of whimsical and random images serving as indirect portals to the brains of human designers. A simple text prompt yields a nearly instantaneous image, satisfying our primitive brains, which are hardwired for instant gratification.

Although seemingly nascent, the field of AI-generated art can be traced back as far as the 1960s with early attempts using symbolic rule-based approaches to make technical images. While the progression of models that untangle and parse words has gained increasing sophistication, the explosion of generative art has sparked debate around copyright, disinformation, and biases, all mired in hype and controversy.

Yilun Du, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and affiliate of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), recently developed a new method that makes models like DALL-E 2 more creative and have better scene understanding. Here, Du describes how these models work, whether this technical infrastructure can be applied to other domains, and how we draw the line between AI and human creativity.

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