Argh, get it away from me!

Cthulhu the Clown

Neural networks are suspiciously good at creating horrifying art ripped straight from the pages of a Lovecraft novel

Case in point: this downright frightening video from the YouTube channel "Artificial Nightmares" showcasing clown-inspired terror fuel generated by a neural network. Watch it only if you don’t mind staying up tonight — and every other night for the rest of your life:

Neural Nightmare

The video is a good showcase of the surreal images that neural networks can dream up with as they try to approximate real-life images, like clowns, that they've been trained on. According to the description of the video, the images were generated using three machine learning algorithms: VQGAN, CLIP, and Rife-RealESRGAN, each of which utilize text-based prompts to generate images. 

The result? A bunch of vampiric ghoul clowns a la Pennywise from Stephen King’s "IT."  

Reality-bending Lovecraft clowns aside, it’s striking how sophisticated neural networks have gotten over the years. It’s even more interesting that many of these networks can manage to generate horrifying images using everything from Simpsons characters to Buzzfeed headlines to porn — and raises the provocative question of how much of the media we consume will come to be generated by AI as the tech continues to develop.

More on neural networks:  Neural Networks Generate Demonic Simpsons Characters Straight From Hell

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