Synthesizing Visual Illusions Using Generative Adversarial Networks

Visual illusions are a very useful tool for vision scientists, because they allow them to better probe the limits, thresholds and errors of the visual system. In this work we introduce the first ever framework to generate novel visual illusions with an artificial neural network (ANN). It takes the form of a generative adversarial network, with a generator of visual illusion candidates and two discriminator modules, one for the inducer background and another that decides whether or not the candidate is indeed an illusion. The generality of the model is exemplified by synthesizing illusions of different types, and validated with psychophysical experiments that corroborate that the outputs of our ANN are indeed visual illusions to human observers. Apart from synthesizing new visual illusions, which may help vision researchers, the proposed model has the potential to open new ways to study the similarities and differences between ANN and human visual perception.

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