Google has taken the wraps off Chimera Painter, a web-based tool that lets anyone generate terrifying cryptozoological entities in an interface that looks like MS Paint by way of Diablo. Why, you ask? Well, isn’t it obvious? No… no, I suppose it isn’t.
Surely the strangest thing to hit Google’s AI blog for at least a month, the Chimera Painter does actually have something like a reason for existing. The team was looking at ways to accelerate the creation of art for games, which is often fantastical and creative. An AI assistant that could produce a reasonable image of, say, an owlbear on the hunt, might be helpful to an artist looking for inspiration. In 2019 Nvidia released a similar tool to generate photorealistic landscape images.
To pursue this somewhat esoteric goal, the team naturally decided to build an entire fantasy digital card game where players combine animals and make them fight. So far, I think you’ll agree this is pretty standard stuff.
The idea was that if there are a hundred animals in the game, and each can be combined with each of the others, that quickly makes far more combinations than any artist can be expected to draw. But machine learning systems never complain, or invoice you.
To make an