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“Through the (car) keyhole”: Car & Classic asks Artificial Intelligence to imagine classic car owners’ ideal home

posted on 12/07/2023
“Through the (car) keyhole”: Car & Classic asks Artificial Intelligence to imagine classic car owners’ ideal home

The biggest online classic and specialist vehicle marketplace in Europe, Car & Classic, has ventured into the digital world of AI by briefing a generative imaging AI programme to imagine in what kind of property owners of specific classic cars are likely to live.The matches and relevant illustrations produced are the result of an AI creative art process: given a specific brief - in this case, “imagine a property in the UK with an 'insert classic car name' parked outside”, the programme sifts through thousands and thousands of digital images available on the internet, and chooses the likely outcome. Midjourney, the programme used for the project, offers a visual interpretation of the models (and the properties) rather than an accurate rendition of their shapes and lines.

The top 16 results are shared on Car & Classic’s article" The House AI Thinks You Live In, Based On Your Classic Car" Town and country are at the opposite ends of the spectrum in the AI report, with Porsche 911 owners said to be likely to live in elegant London townhouses whereas fans of Morris Minors may live in charming cottages in peaceful, quiet surroundings.

Modern classic Italian and British iconic sportscars from the ‘60s also call for different lifestyles: a Lamborghini Gallardo may sit proudly in front of a Georgian mansion but the timeless elegance of E-Type Jaguars seems to be better reflected in a stylish, understated property with lines to match.

A big family with a robust appetite for everyday life may live in a suburban, solid and practical home, and it would make full use of a Mercedes 500. Asking Midjourney to place the American Dodge Coronet manufactured in the ‘60s/’70s in front of a British property returned a family home out of a Seventies catalogue.

Lovers of hand-built British models are, according to AI, equally traditional: a Morgan Plus 4 is matched to a 20th century Tudor home, and the Aston Martin to a magnificent stately house. Classic Bentley Continentals require space and grand surroundings.

An ‘80s model built in Sunderland, and playing a significant part in the British economy, could mostly attract residents of small, British bungalows, which is where AI seems to have found owners of the Nissan BluebirdBedford Rascal van drivers are not far away, seemingly living in suburban semi-detached houses and next door to ubiquitous Vauxhall Cavalier owners, who apparently prefer semi-detached bungalows in the same area.

Dig deeper into less common-sight classic motoring, and AI places the original, classic Fiat 500 in front of a Victorian terraced house, where a small and practical city car would be most at ease, and the rare and unusual Peel P50 next to a similar, if smaller, property.

Unsurprisingly, you would have to drive out of busy cities suiting the miniature classics, and into rural areas, to find the owner of a Willys Jeep. Somewhere in the middle, between towns and countryside, perhaps in a small English village, the owner of a majestic Alvis TA14 would appreciate a traditional detached stone house: after all, that model is forever associated with British automotive history.

Car & Classic Head of Editorial Dale Vinten thinks that the digital reality created by AI may need more work in terms of visual accuracy when it comes to ‘imagining’ classic vehicles. "This was a fun project and we enjoyed playing with AI to explore its biases in relation to classic car owners. Some of the imagery was incredible when you consider how far AI image generation has come in such a small space of time."

Make no mistake, some of the images are incredibly close in likeness at first glance. The Lamborghini Gallardo image, for example, is exceptional. But enthusiasts will notice small details, like the hint (on the AI image) of a black spoiler to the rear that you wouldn’t find on a standard factory car.

Others are less accurate by far. For instance, the AI-generated Bedford Rascal, despite being distinctly van-shaped, looks nothing like an actual Bedford Rascal and the Fiat looks more like a newer model crossed with a VW Beetle than it does a classic 500, despite us instructing AI to use classics.

Across the board, really, there were some sizing issues where cars looked far too big in comparison to the properties they were parked outside. But all in all, this was a lot of fun to experiment with.”

*Article Source https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/

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