The AI creates new designs to give designers inspiration
December 13, 2022 at 16:02
by Michael Gauthier
Artificial intelligence has gotten a design degree thanks to Audi, which is using advanced software to help create the wheels of the future.
Known as FelGAN, the AI was tasked with creating new wheels. Once complete, the AI-designed wheels were shown alongside real wheels and a “discriminator” had to decide whether the wheels were real or computer generated. This effectively taught the AI to create realistic wheels and this process was repeated multiple times until training was complete.
In effect, the training taught the algorithms to learn from their mistakes and continuously improve to give more realistic results. Audi says the resulting wheels are “so deceptively real that even the human eye cannot, or can only barely, distinguish them from real photos.”
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FelGAN was created in-house and its purpose is to give designers inspiration as the company says “people tend to fall back on what is familiar to them” during the creative process. However, thanks to the software, designers can “draw from a practically unlimited pool of ideas” and “discover motifs from completely new perspectives.”
Audi says FelGAN works by rapidly proposing a large number of photo-realistic designs or by recombining existing designs in a “targeted way.” However, the AI doesn’t do all of the work as designers often only use “individual elements from FelGAN’s creations.” The selected wheels are then brought to life in either aluminum or plastic, thanks to a high-tech milling machine that creates a prototype of the design.