Could these creatures designed by robots inspire the next generation of Pokémon?
We already have a new generation of Pokémon coming to us in the upcoming Pokémon Sword and Shield games, but fans have made it clear that you can never have too many. Though there are currently more than 800, it’s always fun to think up more, and what better way to do so that to use an AI generator, which has already been used to design hundreds of original anime characters? And so Twitter user Michael Friesen (@MichaelFriese10), who likes to experiment with AI generators, shared some of his original AI-designed Pokémon on Twitter.
Michael Friesen (@MichaelFriese10) May 12, 2019
Friesen used StyleGAN, a style based generator architecture system, into which he would have first had to feed images of Pokémon from one or more of the games. The AI then used those images as a reference for designing new Pokémon, and what resulted where creatures that look like they could appear in the new games! They’re colorful, have cute and interesting shapes, and appear to even look like they could be a specific type, like ghost, water, or dragon.
▼ Some have even inspired fan art!
It looks like Dragon type. https://t.co/3A3ipHhwik
転寝みるく（こもりみるく）のつぶやき (@komori541milk) May 19, 2019
You can clearly see where the AI drew its inspiration when designing each of the characters. For example, the top right character looks a bit like a Flaaffy, the sheep-like Pokémon from the Gold and Silver games; and the green Pokémon in the middle of the middle row looks like its face might have been inspired by Bulbasaur. Some of them are still a little amorphous and haven’t quite achieved their final forms, but that adds to their intrigue and just makes us want to learn more about them!
▼ Could they be failed Aliens-like experiments, as one Twitter user suggests, perhaps from Mewtwo’s lab?
ghosts are the result of too much math (@branewurms) May 12, 2019
While AI generators are often used to create highly realistic photos of people that don’t actually exist, it’s cool to see them used to design new versions of our favorite video game creatures, too. Maybe one day we’ll see some of these Pokémon appear in a game…you never know how Game Freak comes up with its newest designs!