'Nightmare Machine' AI Can Make Any Face Horrifying

It can haunt your dreams all by itself!

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The complex artificial intelligence algorithms known as neural nets are often tasked with trying to understand human interactions. Sometimes they work, but when they don't, the results can often seem nightmarish. A new effort out of MIT and Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) is trying to scare people on purpose, that's why it's called the .

Image before and after the Nightmare Machine
An image before and after the Nightmare Machine
MIT/CSIRO

After feeding 20,000 faces in the algorithm, Manuel Cebrian of CSIRO and Pinar Yanardag and Iyad Rahwan of MIT decided to add some zombies. The project is primarily a goof, according to Cebrian to the Sydney Morning Herald while the key work of the project is to help neural nets better portray emotion. A machine that learns how to frighten and scare humans could then be made aware that those are the wrong actions to take, with a clearer understanding of the emotional spectrum.

The team has also applied its algorithm to famous landmarks. These remade landmarks have styles ranging from "Fright Night," which is less scary and more just a calmingly surreal take on "" to the far more successful "Tentacle Monster," which is like what you'd get from Salvador Dali during a bad trip on acid.

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To further help the algorithm give you nightmares, you can on which face you find scary or not. An has also been created for the Nightmare Machine, which you can follow at your own risk. Happy Halloween!

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