Artificial Intelligence's Achilles Heel: Why Can't AI Bots Guess the Appearance of Human Hands?
Ever since AI drawing tools came to life, their users have noticed a significant flaw in their work – regardless of whether the user's queries are specific or vague, AI bots simply cannot create a realistic representation of human hands in their outputs. That problem is so widespread that it's even turned into a viral joke in the AI community.
Even the most popular and advanced AI tools make the same mistakes. And it's quite fascinating, really, that AI tools like Mid journey or DALLE can generate an image of a robotic cowboy baking muffins on Mars, but at the same time generate an extra pair of fingers or completely distort the image when asked to draw a human hand.
But why do artificial intelligence programs responsible for creating content in the form of images have a problem with "drawing" hands? And why are the hands, and not other body parts like the nose or ears, the problem?
Similarities between humans and AI bots
Art class is a favorite subject of talented people. But regardless of our interests and talents, there is one thing we all have in common – we can all agree that drawing realistic hands and arms is mission impossible. Even talented children would often have to put in extra time and effort to get the desired results.
In reality, it's not a lack of talent or dedication that makes us terrible at drawing fists. They are challenging to depict on paper due to the numerous bones, tendons and muscles in each hand. But despite the complex anatomy and subtle details that make hands so challenging to draw, a realistic representation of them is possible with regular practice.
If you are one of those people who can't draw fists - welcome to the club! And if you need something to make you feel a little better about your artistic skills (or lack thereof) you're going to love the absolute disaster that comes from AI art.
Despite people praising AI and its superiority over humans, we are more alike than you might think. However advanced they might be, AI tools are also terrible at drawing human hands. And let's not lie, they don't really like drawing feet either (and neither do we!).
You've probably seen an example somewhere - a detailed depiction of a person with all the facial features and details that would make you believe someone had drawn it by hand, and then you suddenly notice the hands and realize the art was either created by a surrealist, or an AI tool for drawing. It might look like this:
image source: Night Caffe
These examples show that AI is quite good at delivering results that resemble human faces and other body parts, such as the shape and length of arms, collarbones or necks. Even this tool I'm using is advanced enough to beautifully show skin texture and show signs of aging on a person.
But when it comes to hands - that's a completely different story. And what's even more fascinating is that one of the reasons AI can't draw hands properly is, well, their complexity. So basically, the same factor that makes us terrible artists with no future also affects the ability of artificial intelligence to generate a realistic image of human hands and arms.
Artificial intelligence can't draw human hands: What's the problem?
I've already mentioned that some people see AI as a "better version of a human" with all those extra abilities. But that is far from the truth. Yes, an AI bot can generate a picture or write you a school play in seconds, but AI programs still have many flaws that we have yet to overcome and conquer.
On the other hand, with all the new options and AI software developers competing with each other to see who can deliver the better tool, we are undoubtedly in the midst of an AI boom. Of course, in the sea of options, we will expect only the best of the best.
All things considered, we currently have very unrealistic expectations for machine learning. And once we find a flaw - which, let's be honest, we always do - it's suddenly a big deal, as if we weren't given a tool that allows us to generate an image based on just one query. Sure, some flaws shouldn't be tolerated, but if AI's inability to "draw" realistic human hands is a disaster of abnormal proportions? I do not think so.
Regardless of your stance on the matter, there's no doubt that the often erratic AI output needs improvement. People in the AI community are trying to solve this problem, but who knows how long it will be before AI reaches enlightenment and understands how to represent human anatomy.