Those hands are seriously creepy.
State-of-the-art AI-powered image generators are seriously powerful. They can generate believable images of practically anything you can think of — all from a simple text prompt.
But they're not 100 percent perfect, and have a particular weak point when it comes to rendering human hands, as BuzzFeed News reports, a common issue that even the most powerful AIs such as Midjourney are seriously struggling with. As to why? It's complicated.
AI attempts to render human hands have often resulted in the stuff of nightmares. Take Midjourney, the tool that brought you some almost photorealistic yet haunted images of a house party last month.
The images, generated by developer Miles Zimmerman, may look like they were taken decades ago by a partygoer with a point-and-shoot camera. But when it comes to their hands, Midjourney's attempts really start falling apart.
From hands with far too many digits to floating fingers seemingly relegated to float by themselves in empty space, hands are the one dead and illusion-shattering giveaway.
Midjourney is getting crazy powerful—none of these are real photos, and none of the people in them exist. pic.twitter.com/XXV6RUrrAv
— Miles (@mileszim) January 13, 2023
But why is it struggling so much with hands in particular? There could be a number of factors at play.
"It’s generally understood that within AI datasets, human images display hands less visibly than they do faces," a representative for Stability AI, the company behind image generator Stable Diffusion, told BuzzFeed News. "Hands also tend to be much smaller in the source images, as they are relatively rarely visible in large form."
Put simply, these AIs simply don't know what hands are or how they are related to the human body.
"It’s just looking at how hands are represented" in the datasets, University of Florida AI expert Amelia Winger-Bearskin told the publication. "Hands, in images, are quite nuanced. They’re usually holding on to something. Or sometimes, they’re holding on to another person."
In short, AIs like Midjourney still haven't fully made sense of all the complex shapes hands can take.
For that to change, AIs will have to understand "the anatomical reality of being human," as Winger-Bearskin told BuzzFeed News, something that could happen much sooner than you might think.
READ MORE: Why Are AI-Generated Hands So Messed Up? Why Are AI-Generated Hands So Messed Up? [BuzzFeed News]
More on messed up hands: We're Fascinated by These AI-Generated Party Pics