MIT Researchers Predict The Future From Still Photos

Researchers from MITís Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), possibly under the influence of science fiction novelists, have been working on generating pictures of the future from ordinary still photographs. I say possibly, because surely no one would write about a camera that took a still picture at one moment in time, that could be developed into a video of the future. Nutty idea, don't you think?

(MIT creating videos of the future from still images)

We capitalize on large amounts of unlabeled video in order to learn a model of scene dynamics for both video recognition tasks (e.g. action classification) and video generation tasks (e.g. future prediction). We propose a generative adversarial network for video with a spatio-temporal convolutional architecture that untangles the scene's foreground from the background. Experiments suggest this model can generate tiny videos up to a second at full frame rate better than simple baselines, and we show its utility at predicting plausible futures of static images. Moreover, experiments and visualizations show the model internally learns useful features for recognizing actions with minimal supervision, suggesting scene dynamics are a promising signal for representation learning. We believe generative video models can impact many applications in video understanding and simulation.

A camera that can take pictures well into the future from a single shot? Nutty? Consider the Agfom potent shot camera, from Philip K. Dick's 1964 novel Clans of the Alphane Moon:

A bright light seared in to being, vanished; Chuck, blinded, peered and then saw, standing in the center of the room with a camera in his hands, a man he recognized. Recognized and disliked.

"Hello, Chuck," Bob Alfson said... "This film I'm using - I'm sure you've run across it at CIA; it's expensive, but helpful." He explained to both Chuck and Joan. "I've just taken an Agfom potent-shot. Does that strike a chord? What I have in this camera is not a record of what you did just now but what will go on here in the next half hour..."
(Read more about the Agfom potent shot film)

Philip K. Dick does it again. I happen to have a list of over 200 Philip K. Dick ideas and inventions. Go ahead, look at the inventions of the future. Just when you think that one of them is too crazy, think again.

Via Generating Videos with Scene Dynamics.

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