Design

These AI-created illustrations rewrite the laws of nature

A neural network has been making illustrations for a "natural history book that never was."

In a generative art installation called Artificial Natural History, artist Sofia Crespo is using AI to push the boundaries of natural world as we know it.

Though the illustrations mimic those seen in compendiums of the natural world, they're actually the product generative adversarial networks (GANs), the same technology used in deepfakes. According to Crespo, the creations are designed to highlight the diversity of nature in addition to creating new "parallel" natural worlds.

"Computer vision and machine learning could offer a bridge between us and a speculative 'natures' that can only be accessed through high levels of parallel computation. Starting from the level of our known reality, we could ultimately be digitizing cognitive processes and utilizing them to feed new inputs into the biological world, which feeds back into a cycle."

Sofia Crespo

Blink your eyes and you may miss the fact that the AI is blending plants and animals like fish and sea flora.

Crespo has worked on similar projects in the past like "Neural Zoo" and "This Jellyfish Does Not Exist" which similarly use neural networks to create imaginary biological lifeforms.

Though the creations are a product of technology, Crespo hopes that the work will bring people closer to nature rather than estrange them from it.

The specimens of the artificial natural history both celebrate and play with the seemingly endless diversity of the natural world, one that we still have very limited comprehension and awareness of

To see more..

Visit Crespo's website or her Instagram.

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