‘Photo’ Was Made From an 84-Year-Old Woman’s Memory using prompt engineer

‘Photo’ Was Made From an 84-Year-Old Woman’s Memory using prompt engineer

An interviewer and a prompt engineer will sit down with the subject whose memory they are trying to retrieve, as the person recalls a specific event or place the promptographer will input the descriptions into an AI image generator and what follows is a bit of back and forth to get the image right.

“You show the image generated from that prompt to the subject and they might say, ‘Oh, the chair was on that side’ or ‘It was at night, not in the day’,” explains Garcia. “You refine it until you get it to a point where it clicks.”

It’s more like guided painting/drawing of a scene from a description – but using generative AI to do the work is pretty unique.

The team recently worked with an 84-year-old woman from Barcelona called Maria. Maria has vivid memories of peering out from her balcony as a child to try and catch a glimpse of her father who was incarcerated in a prison opposite where they lived.

These childhood memories only existed inside Maria’s mind, but the AI researchers worked with her to bring these reminisces to life by describing the place and the historical context (Maria’s father had been jailed by General Franco).

“It’s very easy to see when you’ve got the memory right because there is a very visceral reaction,” Pau Garcia, founder of Domestic Data Streamers, tells MIT Reivew. “It happens every time. It’s like, ‘Oh! Yes! It was like that!’”

AI image from the Spanish Civil War was co-created by a 90-year-old woman called Nuria who vividly remembers men waiting outside bomb shelters with shovels and picks ready to rescue anyone trapped inside.

It’s not as complex as previous methods of reconstructing images from brain scans, but it’s an interesting approach.


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