Capcom's Final Fight is an arcade classic focusing on the efforts of three vigilantes who are hell-bent on rescuing a damsel in distress and kicking butt along the way – but, like so many arcade games from the '80s, its plot was rather thin.
If you're keen to learn more about the past lives of Final Fight's protagonists, then this bunch of fake photos generated using Midjourney's AI tech might tickle your fancy.
Using Midjourney's controversial AI platform (more on that in a second) and a series of prompts, Daniel Garris has created a series of remarkably convincing photos which detail Haggar's early days as a wrestler and street fighter.
According to Garris, the prompts fed into the AI were "in the style of Martin Scorsese and Mean Streets, Walter Hill and The Warriors, 1970s New York City, long shot, full body shot, cinematic footage, photorealism, 70mm film, film stock, film still, natural skin, color, gritty, Final Fight, Street Fighter."
Garris adds that the plan is to tackle Cody and Guy's stories next, assuming the resultant images are good enough to share.
The topic of AI-generated artwork is something of a hot topic of late, with many artists expressing concern that this kind of art production could result in them losing their jobs. There have also been instances of AI programmes being fed artwork for training purposes without the original artists being consulted for permission.
Midjourney itself hasn't escaped this controversy; last September, its founder and CEO David Holz openly admitted that the company had based its AI on pre-existing artwork and photos, using them without consent from the original creators:
It’s [the dataset] just a big scrape of the Internet. We use the open data sets that are published and train across those. I’d say that’s something that 100% of people do. We weren’t picky.
Holz claims that Midjourney is intended to give ordinary people the tools they need to produce amazing pieces of art simply by describing them, but, as you can imagine, resistance to this approach has been forthcoming from a wide range of sources – not least from artists who could potentially be out of the job thanks to this technological advancement.
In fact, a group of artists have just sued Midjourney – alongside DeviantArt and Stability AI – claiming that their intellectual property rights have been violated by the rise of AI-based artwork, which requires pre-existing samples to do its work.