Posted by E.L.E.X on April 20 2019 under Tech/Programming
The recent AI boom has had all sorts of weird and wonderful side effects as amateur tinkerers find ways to repurpose research from universities and tech companies. But one of the more unexpected applications has been in the world of video game mods. Fans have discovered that machine learning is the perfect tool to improve the graphics of classic games.
The technique being used is known as “AI upscaling.” In essence, you feed an algorithm a low-resolution image, and, based on training data it’s seen, it spits out a version that looks the same but has more pixels in it. Upscaling, as a general technique, has been around for a long time, but the use of AI has drastically improved the speed and quality of results.
“IT WAS LIKE WITCHCRAFT.”
“It was like witchcraft,” says Daniel Trolie, a teacher and student from Norway who used AI to update the visuals of 2002 RPG classic The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. “[It] looked like I just downloaded a hi-res texture pack from [game developers] Bethesda themselves.”
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