One day, we’re going to look back on all the artificial intelligence systems we’ve created and despair. That day might be the one when our inevitable robot servants have a horrific uprising, or it might just be the day when you see an AI’s attempt to render Street Fighter’s Zangief as a real person based on a quick scan of his in-game appearance. If it is the latter, today’s the day, by the way.
Twitter user Siberian_644 has crafted a wonderful, often nightmarish twitter thread of Street Fighter 5 characters rendered as photo-realistic people thanks to a Google AI algorithm. These sorts of filters are fairly common these days, from things like FaceApp to other neural network trained AIs that can turn people into cartoons or the reverse.
With Street Fighter 5, there’s some surprisingly decent results, like this attempt to render a real-life Chun-Li:
But there’s also incredible outcomes like that previously-mentioned attempt to recreate Zangief:
Ok. That's a wrap! (for today, ofc)— Siberian_644 (@Siberian_644) August 30, 2021
Let me introduce Zangief. 🤣🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/uw6J2FZ09N
The iconic live-action version is of course an allegedly coked-up Jean-Claude Van Damme -- but this algorithm delivers a version that doesn’t look anything like the Muscles from Brussels:
SF5 newcomer Rashid, however, actually comes out pretty well like a real person who actually looks like their in-game counterpart:
Rashid pic.twitter.com/kcON6CpGRU— Siberian_644 (@Siberian_644) August 30, 2021
The way these renders work in a broad sense is that the features it has are lifted from a huge database of real-life photos which the AI has learned from. That’s why you sometimes might get a slightly uncanny feeling of vague familiarity from some of the characters; it might be picking up features of commonly-photographed celebrities, for instance.
Claw/Vega always boasts about his beauty - that’s why he wears a mask in battle, to protect his face. It’s fair to say that Google does his good looks more justice than SF5 itself:
Balrog (Vega) pic.twitter.com/RNuo2JhYZd— Siberian_644 (@Siberian_644) August 30, 2021
Poor Ryu doesn’t fare so well:
Protagonist himself pic.twitter.com/dfA9vBLgAX— Siberian_644 (@Siberian_644) August 30, 2021
Lucia, who is a relatively new transplant from the Final Fight games, has an algorithm photo that looks so eerily close to somebody I knew years ago that it’s seriously creeping me out.
Lucia #1 pic.twitter.com/jQaIea20Pe— Siberian_644 (@Siberian_644) August 30, 2021
One thing the algorithm doesn’t seem to cope very well with at all is accessories - eyepatches become glasses, and Ibuki’s ninja face covering being mistaken for, er, seemingly an extreme five-o’clock shadow.
Sagat (starring Damascus) pic.twitter.com/uF2mPegRiH— Siberian_644 (@Siberian_644) August 30, 2021
Ibuki (i just can't 🤣) pic.twitter.com/dxl6aiMeWQ— Siberian_644 (@Siberian_644) August 30, 2021
That almost universally-hated Ken face that appears in SF5 has done quite well in this experiment, though. It even got rid of the banana hair!
Ken #2 (vanilla) pic.twitter.com/EyfrnbKxPz— Siberian_644 (@Siberian_644) August 30, 2021
And, finally, here’s Dictator/Bison in his most terrifying form to date:
Dictator, LMAO 🤣 pic.twitter.com/wsL2LOC5Ff— Siberian_644 (@Siberian_644) August 30, 2021
Chilling. The true extent of Psycho Power is revealed. You can find even more incredible AI creations in the original twitter thread.