In the future imagined by Pinar Yanardag, a postdoctoral research associate at MIT Media Lab, AI will collaborate with humans, not replace them.
This is the concept behind her project, “How to Generate (Almost) Anything,” which she created with other students from the MIT Media Lab and professionals in the Boston area.
Yanardag sat down with AI Podcast host Noah Kravitz to talk about this project, along with her other new creations.
How to Generate (Almost) Anything tackles weekly projects that integrate human and AI creativity. “So these are artists and artisans from all walks of life. Sometimes, these people have no experience in AI, sometimes they’re a bit up to date,” Yanardag says.
Mystic PizzAI — Reinventing Gourmet Food with GPUs
The team starts with choosing something to generate — one of their first projects was pizza. Then they train a network using data they’ve collected. For their pizza project, they fed it a multitude of recipes. AI then generates its own ideas.
Yanardag and her colleagues find a human collaborator who evaluates the AI-generated idea and tweaks it. Their system produced a recipe for shrimp and jam pizza, a seemingly alarming combination.
But their collaborator, the chef of Crush Pizza in Boston, augmented the recipe with arugula. The result was so delicious that he’s considering adding it to his regular menu.
Yanardag’s sentiment that humans should be excited rather than fearful of job automation also helped her start the world’s first AI fashion brand, Coven.ai. She and cofounder Emily Salvador, also from the MIT Media Lab, create dresses based on AI-generated designs.
The AI component invents outfits humans might not think of — in Coven.ai’s reimagining of the classic Little Black Dress, one arm of the dress is a bell sleeve, and the other is straight.
Yanardag and Salvador are releasing new dresses on their site, but they’re also designing a platform in which the public can interact with their AI system.
Caption: Success with a dress: Coven.ai shows how AI can generate appealing fashion.
“The idea is, you can just generate new designs on your own using our tool, and you can also finetune some of the details in the dress, like different colors or different styles or different textures,” Yanardag says. Users could send that design to a tailor, who would make the dress for them.
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