Artificial Intelligence Imagines Alien Worlds in Computer-Generated Sci-Fi Film

artificial intelligence film ai fractal
Animator Julius Horsthuis used AI to create a science fiction world. Julius Horsthuis

A "lazy animator" has given a glimpse of what futuristic films might look like if artificial intelligence takes over the job of filmmaker.

Digital animator Julius Horsthuis created a fantasy science fiction film using fractals—infinitely complex patterns that are created using an ongoing feedback loop. His latest short film Fraktaal used fractal patterns to automatically generate an alien civilization and landscape.

artificial intelligence imagines alien world
The alien worlds generated by artificial intelligence are made using fractals. Julius Horsthuis

"I borrowed the aesthetic from science fiction films, and isolated that into something that I hope will stimulate the imagination into its own spacefaring journey," said Horsthuis.

"It so happens that I'm a lazy animator. Using fractals, I can conjure up entire worlds without having to draw or model anything. These shapes hide in the formulas, they exist in a mathematical reality, all I need to do is explore those worlds and make them reveal themselves."

The dystopian-looking world was created using a program called Mandelbulb 3D, which allows users to generate 3D renderings of environments that include "lighting, color, specularity, depth-of-field, shadow and glow effects," according to the program's website.

Fraktaal is not the first film by Horsthuis to use fractals and follows a series of 'fractal shorts' created by artificial intelligence. The only thing the short films are lacking is a story, however this is not beyond the capabilities of modern AI.

A program created by MIT Media Lab called Shelley recently gained attention for autonomously writing short horror stories. Shelley worked through input from a section of Reddit called r/nosleep, where users post short horror stories.

Read more: These horror stories created by artificial intelligence are the stuff of nightmares.

Other creative artificial intelligence algorithms include a music composer created by Aiva Technologies, which creates musical compositions through a process the company describes as "innovation through randomness."

Aiva Technologies CEO Pierre Barreau told Futurism last week: "From Aiva's point of view, the inspiration is built up through an extensive training on 15,000 pieces of symphonic music written by Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, and other great composers.

"The innovation part comes through randomness, as the systems we build are stochastic by nature. And it's, by design, very good at innovating, because it can try a lot of very different ideas very quickly."