The Nightmare Machine Takes Any Photo and Makes it Appear Scary to Humans


For those of you out there who believe that AI or Artificial Intelligence will have negative ramifications for the world, then this new “Nightmare Machine” isn’t really going to help.  Thankfully it’s not quite as independent thinking as some of the “apocalyptic robots taking over the world” scenarios we envision, but it’s still freaky nonetheless. Researchers at MIT have developed The Nightmare Machine, an artificial intelligence system that has learned how to take any photo and make it appear scary to humans.

The primary reason for building Nightmare Machine was to explore the common fear inspired by intelligent computers, its trio of designers told Live Science. “Elon Musk said that with the development of AI, we are ‘summoning the demon,'” co-creator Iyad Rahwan, an associate professor at MIT Media Lab, told Live Science. “We wanted to playfully explore whether and how AI can indeed become a demon, that can learn how to scare us, both by extracting features from scary images and subsequent refinement using crowd feedback,” Rahwan said.

Playful huh?  That picture of Kermit the Frog isn’t exactly something my 4-year-old would find playful.  While I respect the brains at MIT I still have to say “what the hell is wrong with you people?”

More pictures (and a GIF showing its rendering ability) below: