This Person Does Not Exist

The website This Person Does not Exist generates AI-created images of humans using Generative Adversarial Network (GAN). It’s essentially a conversation of two neural networks, where one tries to trick the other into creating something that passes for ground truth. The same type of algorithm has previously been used to produce artwork that famously sold for $432,500 at Christie’s.

It’s a neat website that can have you refreshing for hours as it constantly produces new faces. The Next Web Called it “AI at its creepiest”, but at first, there’s something reassuring about those faces that I like to think of as unborn people. It doesn’t hit you right away. It starts with awkward backgrounds and foggy edges, various accessories like eyeglasses, earring (that almost never match), and microphones occasionally melt into an eerie blur. Look closer, and you realize AI is learning about humans on its own terms, not bothering to dissociate the biological animal from its props.

It makes perfect sense. French Philosopher Bernard Stiegler argues that the “human” is created through the exteriorization of the self in tools, the ability to create tools that act as added organs, and augment capabilities. AI gets it. Through its logic, this augmentation of the self with tools but also embellishments, is “flattened back” into something that does not exist.

Keep clicking refresh. You’ll just notice a weird sharpness where eyeglasses should be, a missing ear, maybe a random gap on a hairline, jaws dislocate. Keep refreshing long enough and faces just look like heat maps. If it can’t dissociate the human from exteriorised organs, why not keep stripping away layers.

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