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‘Family Guy’ imagined by AI as a live-action ’80s sitcom is giving off strong uncanny valley vibes

AI is as fascinating a tool as it is terrifying, let's just hope we can use it responsibly. Who are we kidding though?

Image via Fox

If you’ve been seeing a bunch of weird AI-generated images on YouTube lately, you’re not alone. With each passing day, more and more videos have been released on the platform depicting popular shows, movies, and games as reimagined pieces of new media.

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Maybe it’s SpongeBob as a dark fantasy film, or Star Wars as an ’80s anime — the point is, if you needed another reminder that AI will eventually enslave us all, we’ve found one. The latest in this slew of mind-bending mashups comes by way of Family Guy. That is, if Family Guy was a live-action ’80s sitcom.

Close enough to fool us, not close enough to be convincing — if it wasn’t for Peter’s demon hands in the thumbnail we might have been tricked. The most unsettling part though? It’s all put to music.

Thankfully, it seems that most of these AI adaptations are stuck deep within the uncanny valley. As a refresher, the uncanny valley is a phenomenon by which a computer-generated image attempts to fool us by creating something that looks (kind of) human. Before a certain point, the closer it gets to our likeness — the easier it is for us to spot its flaws.

Why? Because as human beings, our eyes are pretty good at recognizing things that look human. This means a seven-fingered Peter Griffin doesn’t really cut the mustard. We won’t deny that it’s pretty impressive that artificial intelligence can create things like this, but being unable to predict where everything is headed should scare people.

Our concern is that as this technology starts to get better, what’s stopping someone from truly fooling us? With a little effort, anyone could have access to these tools, and very soon someone will be producing images that look real — but aren’t. Heck, AI could even start writing articles about it in the process.

Who knows? Maybe the next article you read won’t even be written by a person, yikes. Does anyone else feel a chill? For now, most AI is stuck drafting thousands of odd images that we all can agree need some work. Phew.

It could be The Simpsons as an ’80s sitcom, Pokémon as a Jim Henson muppet movie, or Harry Potter transformed into a Yakuza film — regardless, there’s always something off about them. Barely, unnoticeably, but off. At least, right now.

Pretty soon no one will be able to tell the difference, and if we can use these tools responsibly they’ll stay exactly that — tools. Whether they help build a better world or dismantle society is entirely up to us.