Recent advancement in neural networks resulted in all sorts of interesting experiments by various people on Internet, even if most of those experiments still produce weird, off-putting or plainly faulty results.
One common direction of such experiments is attempts to reimagine popular shows, movies, and games in a different style or in a whole new medium. Some of these attempts, particularly aimed at creating something heavily stylized, rather than ultra-realistic, produce pretty interesting results, such as Star Wars as an old-style anime.
But even among those results which get published on YouTube and elsewhere, weird cringe is more common so far.
Look, for example, at this attempt of presenting Family Guy as a 1980s’ live-action sitcom:
In case you wonder, images were generated by the Midjourney neural network, and the clip’s author presumably put them to music himself. Even besides technical errors, still common for neural networks, like getting the number of fingers on Peter’s hands dead wrong in one image, the images are still obviously computer-generated.
The characters come right out of the uncanny valley. If you don’t remember what the uncanny valley means, it is a phenomenon in which the more an artificial likeness of a human being, be it a doll or a computer-generated image, resembles the real thing, the easier it is for the observer to spot its flaws, and the creepier these flaws become.
Furthermore, the clip confirms another well-known truth, recently illustrated by Disney’s live-action remakes of their old animated movies – what works well in animation, does not necessarily translate well into live action. Particularly in animation which uses a style with a lot of exaggerations for comedic effect.
So far, art created by neural networks, even its handpicked best examples, still cannot remotely match human work. Not even when using existing examples as base images and aping existing styles. At most it can produce curiosities, like the above.
And even the best of them, like the Star Wars example above, are still much inferior to human effort, like the official Star Wars manga. But the technology is still in its infancy. At the very least, it promises to heavily automate creation of lower-end art – many people who earn money by drawing relatively cheap fanart, character avatars or porn on the web already fear that it would leave them out of jobs.