AI pet-swapping app shows you what your dog would look like as a bear

Have you ever wondered what your pet dog would look like as a meerkat or lion? No probably not, but now artificial intelligence can show you anyway.

Ming-Yu Liu and colleagues at NVIDIA, a computer chip manufacturer, created an online tool that can let you see what your pet would like if it were any other animal.

The technology works using generated adversarial networks (GANs). In this case these are a pair of AIs that work together to improve the process of converting one animal into another.

 One AI is responsible for creating new images, such as a bear converted into a hamster, and the other is responsible for judging how much the new image looks like the original animal. It can do this as it is also fed truer to life images created by the researchers.


Using this feedback loop, the AI quickly learns how to best transfer the faces of animals onto other animals. Using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk platform, people were paid to verify which images generated by the AI seemed the most realistic. Some of the images have a genuine likeness, but others look just like pictures of other animals.

Unlike previous AIs which need multiple photos of an animal to work, this just needs one.

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