The future will be run by artificial intelligence. Or, at least, that’s what many are hoping. Industries from automotive to music are hoping AI will solve their problems, or cut out middlemen, but Amazon is taking an unusually bold move and trying to build an AI fashion designer.
Fashion companies already track social media closely; if you regularly post your outfits to Instagram, odds are good at least one designer has checked out your sense of style. But Amazon, reports MIT, is taking it a step further — with AI that can determine if something is in style from checking just a few labels on the image, to just straight up designing the clothes:
An Amazon team at Lab126, a research center based in San Francisco, has developed an algorithm that learns about a particular style of fashion from images, and can then generate new items in similar styles from scratch—essentially, a simple AI fashion designer… This work uses a cutting-edge tool called a generative adversarial network, or GAN. It consists of two deep neural networks operating in tandem to learn efficiently from raw data. The GAN internalizes the properties of a particular style simply by looking at lots of examples, and it can then apply that style to an existing item of clothing.
You’re not going to see AIs battling it out on the runway with bold styles and snarky put-downs next week, as hilarious as that would be. This work is still fairly theoretical, and built largely on what we put out there ourselves. One Amazon researcher noted that it was as much about grasping how people lived their lives day to day as it was about the cut and drape.
And Amazon, of all companies, is keenly aware of what happens when you let an AI loose without vetting it first. Just this spring, the company created a bot to make phone cases out of popular image searches, and it went off the rails with much cackling from the wider internet. So they’ll probably wait until this bot can truly “make it work.”
(via The Verge)