Meet Your AI-Generated Dream Anime Girl
Do you dream of Asuna Yuuki? Do you long to run away to a fantasy world with a gorgeous anime partner? If yes, there’s a new artificial intelligence system just for you — the “Waifu Vending Machine” can create a highly modified anime friend in minutes.
Japanese use the word “Waifu” for a fictional heartthrob in manga/anime/gaming culture. Lots of fans recommend to their favorite female character in a game or anime as their Waifu, another side some of them. They are treating Waifu as an important part of their lives. The term is more and more widespread worldwide as Japanese otaku traditions continue to deeply boom among Millennials.
The AI-powered Waifu Vending Machine first randomly forms 16 fictional female characters from scratch. Users can choose one to continue to the next step, or refresh the grid if no one of the generated characters entertains their picture.
Next, the model will tune the color palette for the selected character.
The system will proceed fine-tuning different details such as facial features, pose, hairstyles, clothing, etc. to produce a unique demonstration from countless likely appearances.
Hurrah! Below is Synced’s custom cute Waifu. Users can share and download the generated images on Twitter. Users can purchase a printed pillow (US$90) or picture (US$25) emblazoned with their Waifu. The system can also print a Japanese name to the character and link her to the user’s email address for next operation options.
A creative agency and games studio Sizigi Studios is behind the Waifu Vending Machine. While they have not exposed the technical information of their model. A team member Kevin Frans become an OpenAI research intern, recognized as the first high schooler MIT undergrad previously, wrote on Reddit that they used generative adversarial networks (GANs) to guide the system.
In February researcher Gwern Branwen developed a random Waifu generator called This Waifu Does Not Exist using NVIDIA’s StyleGAN neural networks. The creation of GANs has spawned myriad image synthesis applications over the past years, and one of the popular research topics is anime generation.
Frans says a big challenge was “curating a dataset of clean images and making sure nothing weird shows up.” The team used a Branwen dataset as their initial training corpus than in concert features such as pose from color, etc., which Frans says concerned “some tricks in manipulating latent vectors to not end up in a bad space.”
Earlier this month Sizigi Studios brought their Waifu Vending Machine to the Los Angeles Anime Convention. Where it quickly became a center of attention. Sketch artists often work at anime conventions, drawing commissioned portraits for otaku attendees. It is, however, challenging for an artist to create a new character based on descriptions alone. Waifu Vending Machine, on the other hand, provides immediate visual feedback and only needs five minutes to generate a custom Waifu.
Male Corresponding of Waifu
The project has made waves in the otaku and machine learning communities. It is also trending on social media, where lots of people are promoting Sizigi Studios. They asked to come up with a similar generator for “husbando,” the male corresponding of Waifu. Branwen remark on Reddit that generating husbandos is shockingly tricky due to a dearth of fictional male face data.
Google AI researcher David Ha tweeted “We need more gender diversity in anime-ML projects. The anime dataset bias issue should be a challenge, rather than an excuse.”
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