Friday, June 21, 2024

Visions of the future? AI-created images of Mexico City in 2049 go viral

“Postcards” from a futuristic Mexico City have gone viral after a Twitter user @lapetitemachine posted what he said were images of the country’s capital in the year 2049, as created by Artificial Intelligence or AI.

The images show what appears to be a dark, dystopian future for the city, with dilapidated structures, rainy streets, a flood of neon light, and graffiti on subway cars and buildings.

And it looks like OXXO isn’t going anywhere — the store’s logo appeared prominently in three of the images. The most disturbing picture perhaps, because of its too-close-to-home probability was of a polluted skyline over the capital, with a hazy red sun glimpsed through the contaminated clouds.

Thousands of Twitter users “liked” and retweeted the images, posting some fatalistic but also tongue-in-cheek reactions:

“Me coming home from my 12-hour cyberwork shift in the acid rain, where a hologram of Dr. Simi detects my presence and starts talking to me about [the pharmacy’s] cheapest prices (their prices 300% higher than 20 years before),” said one follower of the post.

Another described the aesthetic as “dystopian OXXO/cyber-punk”.

Users explained how, to create these kinds of images, an AI would “read” thousands of images of the city until it detected patterns — like the combination of OXXO + CDMX — that were then incorporated into an algorithmic “vision” of the future.

Not all predictions of future urban life are so apocalyptic: AI is also being used by scientists to create positive, sustainable, and technologically advanced models for future cities in hopes that as the world continues to urbanize, cities will find ways to cope and thrive among the world’s many challenges.

With reports from Excelsior, Twitter, and Heraldo Binario. and CNN

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