Microsoft's newest AI is a master of what?

Answer: The arts.

by / January 22, 2018

In an announcement posted Thursday to its AI Blog, Microsoft revealed the artistic talents of its latest artificial intelligence (AI) platform. By feeding it a data sets of images paired with captions, Microsoft’s researchers trained the AI to draw images based on text descriptions.

Most interestingly, however, this particular AI has a sense of imagination. In the example images included in the announcement, the AI drew birds perched on branches even though that was not specified in the text it was given. This was because in many of the images that it was trained on, there were birds perched on branches, so it made the assumption to add that feature to its drawings.

“If you go to Bing and you search for a bird, you get a bird picture. But here, the pictures are created by the computer, pixel by pixel, from scratch,” Principal Researcher and Research Manager Xiaodong He, from the Deep Learning Technology Center at Microsoft’s research lab in Washington state, said in the announcement. “These birds may not exist in the real world — they are just an aspect of our computer’s imagination of birds.”