AI-generated imaginary Pokémon designs posted by a data scientist

Image Credit: Max Woolf

Written by. Ryuki Ishii based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2021-12-15 16:41 JST)

Max Woolf, a data scientist at BuzzFeed, has posted images of 192 AI-generated imaginary Pokémon on Twitter. These images were generated using an AI program called ruDALL-E, and according to the tweet, Woolf “forced a bot to look at every Pokémon and told it to generate its own.”

If you look closely, you can see that some of the designs have misplaced eyes or don’t look like living creatures, but overall, the images capture the characteristics of the Pokémon art style. Pokémon with greenish colors have plant Pokémon like features, just like the real Pokémon. Although they are AI-generated, their design makes you wonder what their Pokémon type would be if they were actually in the game.

Image Credit: Max Woolf

According to Woolf, “The AI used here is a fine-tuned ruDALL-E on the official Pokemon images.” ruDALL-E is the Russian version of DALL-E, which is an artificial intelligence program developed by OpenAI.

It creates images from textual descriptions and can even respond to outlandish requests, such as “a baby daikon radish in a tutu walking a dog” to generate images that match the description. DALL-E understands nonexistent objects and concepts such as place, time, and visual style as well.

*Images generated by DALL·E in response to the “a baby daikon radish in a tutu walking a dog” request
Image Credit: OpenAI

The AI was given a data set of Pokémon images, so it makes sense that the end results are moderately accurate. It’s as if the AI takes into account the Pokémon types and understands how to create creature designs with that distinct Pokémon-vibe. It would be interesting to see what would happen if Woolf were to make more specific requests to the AI such as “make a plant Pokémon” or “make a legendary Pokémon.”

Woolf’s experiment has shown that AI can even reproduce the artistic style of a videogame to a certain extent. Maybe the works of AI artists will become more prominent in the near future.