The whole ugly AI art debacle is in danger of eating itself when the algorithms involved are turned on meta-comedy cartoon Family Guy. I'm surprised Seth MacFarlane hasn't already poked fun at AI's inability to render fingers without terrifying people.
Beating the cartoonist to the punchline, AI user Lyrical Realms posted their recreation of Family Guy to YouTube, and the Midjourney-made short video has four million views to date. It's also as creepy as you'd expect. The same problems emerge as found in the recent freaky AI house party renders – too many fingers, mouths flooded with teeth and dead-eyed people staring into space.
Yet, while previous attempts to turn famous faces into AI-generated versions has proved horrific, such as the time an AI remade The Avengers as Wes Anderson, fans of Family Guy are divided over whether this time AI has got it right or wrong.
Twitter, as ever, is full of hot takes. @bigzodicus wrote: "HOLY CRAP!!! AI created this awesome rendition of Family Guy as a 90s sitcom" while @JakeGlidden1 was in disbelief, writing: "…there is no way a computer, on its own without human manipulation, created “80’s Family Guy".
Not everyone loves AI's adaptation of Family Guy, and I personally can't get past those weird hands; Peter Griffin has seven fingers and two styles of hand! I can't get past AI's inability to render accurate mouths; characters either have one large tooth or a shark-like jaw of hundreds of teeth.
"If we've learned anything about AI it's that, like myself, it sucks at drawing hands...every damn time," wrote @mroobalooba. "Relieved the robot overlords still haven’t perfected hands so we can tell the fake/fails (Lois even has a cheeky extra hand!)," joked @activrightbrain who points out Louis Griffin has three hands to hold a vinyl record sleeve.
AI-generated images like these are created by adding text prompts into the app, and we have a guide to how to use DALL·E 2 if you want to try it yourself. It should be noted that, as well as creating some disturbing AI images, there are also moral and legal issues around apps that scrape the web for art, often taking the work of artists without permission; it's why Getty has banned AI images and portfolio site ArtStation's homepage was awash with 'ban AI' protest images.
It's not as easy as you may think to create something like the AI Family Guy trailer. Lyrical Realms, the person behind the AI Family Guy images, told PetaPixel they had to create 1,500 renders to get the images needed, and then worked on those scenes in Photoshop to remove artefacts and create a layered 3D effect.
This doesn't come free, either, Lyrical Realms reveals they pay a $60 monthly subscription to Midjourney to create this many AI images. You can watch the full AI Family Guy trailer on Lyrical Realms' YouTube channel.