MIT Nightmare Machine uses deep learning AI to create horror

Google used algorithms to create trippy, dreamy images, and now MIT has done something similar...only with a horror slant to keep in theme with Halloween. Called the Nightmare Machine, this deep learning algorithm takes an image and rewrites it to look as if it were plucked from a horror movie. The resulting images are dark, creepy, and in some cases somewhat gory looking and certainly disturbing.

You can jump straight to the images via the Nightmare Machine's Instagram page here. The Nightmare Machine is a deep learning artificial intelligence created by MIT's Pinar Yanardag, Iyad Rahwan, and Manual Cebrian. With it, an ordinary photograph — it can be something as innocent as a screenshot from Disney's Bambi — is analyzed and altered in such a way that it looks 'haunted' or otherwise scary.

Dr. Lecter

A photo posted by Nightmare Machine (@nightmare_machine) on

Some images show small skulls overlaid onto imagery for that spooky look, while others involve blood-like wounds drawn over faces and more. As with all deep learning algorithms, it'll get smarter with help from humans. You can aid the algorithm in learning whether it did a good job scaring you by voting for scary (or not) content here.

The algorithm learned what makes an image scary by analyzing frightening images fed to it. Not every AI-generated image is a winner, of course, but many of them are suitably scary. No doubt the algorithm will get better at generating haunted images in the future as it learns what people find frightening. In the mean time, check out the Nightmare Machine website and Instagram, but be warned: some of the images are indeed pretty upsetting.

SOURCE: Slice of MIT