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This AI is pretty good at generating realistic graphics for GTA 5

The tech is impressive

Austen Goslin (he/him) is an entertainment editor. He writes about the latest TV shows and movies, and particularly loves all things horror.

Intel Labs, a research hub for the tech company of the same name, has created a new process for enhancing images — and it showed it off using Grand Theft Auto 5. The process converts the standard footage from the game into nearly photorealistic images using a very complicated procedure that involves an AI, according to a former member of the team.

Most of the Intel Labs team’s data and findings while building this new image enhancement technique is available through their project page on Intel’s website and a very detailed white paper. However, to make things a little easier to grasp, the team also created a video that shows off the process in motion and some of the enhanced footage from the game.

The video gives side-by-side comparisons between the standard world of GTA 5 and the enhanced version, generated by Intel Labs. The enhanced image is particularly impressive in terms of details — it fills in reflections from car windows, glossiness in paint, lush grass in previously brown fields, and leaves on barren trees.

The Intel team’s secret weapon is actually a check process that runs at the end of the enhancement of each individual frame. The check measures each frame’s accuracy versus a real-life image in-order to make sure that the process continues to meet a certain bar for photorealistic quality.

The video also goes into a detailed description of how the process works, and even gives a few visual aids that make it more clear — but you should still expect to wrestle with some academic and technical jargon.

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