This article originally appeared on VICE US.
This Fursona Does Not Exist is a new site that takes the same design, concept, and programming methods as its predecessors, and churns out never-before-seen fursonas—furry fandom art that's usually in a specific cartoonish style that represents someone's online avatar.
According to the site's about page, the AI-generated furry portraits were created using Nvidia's StyleGAN2 architecture, and trained on a dataset of around 55,000 SFW images from art forum e621.net. The dataset, which is available on GitHub, excludes ponies and scalies (snakes, lizards, reptiles, fish, etc.) "for now," arfa wrote. Yet another biased algorithm, but we'll let this one slide since it seems like they're working on it.
"As the images are generated by an AI, they are non-copyrightable," arfa wrote on the site. "I claim no legal ownership or rights to any of the images generated by this AI. Please use them responsibly."
The fursonas that the AI creates are, for the most part, pretty good. Because so much of furry fandom art and fursonas are part of a wide range of styles and illustration skill levels, they're all believably "real," as if you could find them made by real people on forums like DeviantArt or Furaffinity. The cracks only show when it turns up the occasional fursona that's a little bit too human to be a fursona, and instead just looks like anime.
Again, I'll forgive it since it's a work in progress, and not all furries have a fursuit or even a fursona. It's what's inside the AI's furry heart that counts.