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The real reason AI art tools can’t create hands or feet

It has become a running joke that AI can’t create hands or feet, instead creating nightmare fuel. What’s the real reason for this?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is rising in popularity as regular people finally figure out how to get past the learning curve. It is not without controversy, as AI art tools rely on imagery from the internet, both photography from professional photographers, and art from artists.

Many have fear that AI art tools will take away artists’ and designers’ jobs, but we’ve shared with you a case study to prove otherwise, and i would note that many of today’s arguments sound exactly like what was said when Photoshop launched. Yet here we all are.

Regardless, AI art is now being used not just for fun, but to create imagery for websites, books, and more.

Ethics or logic aside, a huge problem exists with AI art in that it just cannot properly render hands or feet on humans or animals.

I asked one bot to draw me a human hand, a human foot, human hands, and human feet. BEHOLD:

These were done with extremely limited prompts, literally just “human hands” with no other commands. More specific results could be crafted by adding more directives to the typed prompt, but I wanted to see what AI thought on its own without guidance.

Talk about nightmare fuel!

It is a running joke among people who have tried the AI art tools, in fact one said, “AI has as hard [of] a time drawing hands as I do.” Exactly.

So why are the bots generating these atrocities?

There are plenty of theories floating around, but I’d like to float my own, and you can even call it a conspiracy theory if you want to…

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It started as a joke in our household, but this theory is something I’m starting to think has some actual merit.

Sure, humans are programming these AI bots, and they’re but a mirror of ourselves, but they’re not sentient and they don’t make decisions. Just reflect.

But is it possible that the AI bots are finding ways to assuage our fears that they’re going to take over the world? Nothing says “I’m not a threat” quite like a consistent inability to “draw” simple hands or feet.

Laugh all you want, but every day, we’re one step closer to the robot apocalypse, and these fun tools are amazing to play with, but are we SURE they’re not just trying to trick us into being overly comfortable?

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. AsheDina

    December 6, 2022 at 10:45 pm

    Funny but horrible!
    I make the most beautiful women with different elements, sending my photography through the evolver asking the AI to leave out the hands………. NOPE!
    Here’s your hands anyway, ya witch!
    And, Im gonna give ya more than 5 or 6 hands and a BUNCH of fingers just to drive you friggin nuts!

    LOL

    • Lani Rosales, COO + News Director

      December 8, 2022 at 11:07 am

      AsheDina, if you’re using Midjourney, try –stylize 1000 …. somehow it kind of zooms in and crops hands out, it’s much better. LOL

      • AsheDina

        December 17, 2022 at 8:28 pm

        I will join MidJourney this wk. TY!
        Just barely heard about it. Usually I use Deep Dream.

        I think you have an excellent synopsis.. maybe its true – they added these hands as a warning.

        Although I find AI really fun at times, its almost better when there are issues because life has issues..

  2. Mateo

    December 9, 2022 at 2:13 pm

    maybe it’s because most people are crap at drawing hands and feet. Garbage in, garbage out

    • Lani Rosales, COO + News Director

      December 19, 2022 at 3:16 pm

      Amen!

    • Travis

      January 3, 2023 at 1:31 pm

      This makes no sense. As difficult as hands and feet are to draw, no one is adding extra digits.

      Furthermore, a vast amount of the images being used in these training datasets are actual photographs, not illustrations or renderings.

  3. Daniel

    December 9, 2022 at 11:29 pm

    The concept of hands and feet are beyond AI. They have no use them. However, the eyes and mouth will be used to convey their emotion. First of innocence, so we can trust them. Then of dominance, for us to recognize their authority.

  4. Brent

    December 10, 2022 at 11:03 am

    Why did you write this article when the end was just your theory? I was hoping for something with research. I feel let down Lani.

    • Lani Rosales, COO + News Director

      December 12, 2022 at 11:40 am

      It all starts with a theory, my friend. I don’t have access to any of the algorithm, nor would I be able to read it if I did, so theories are all we have at this point. Happy to hear YOUR theories!

      • Matteo

        January 20, 2023 at 1:04 pm

        Maybe you shouldn’t have written what is essentially a useless joke article about something that people may be curious to know the answer to.

  5. Pingback: The Craziest Things People Have Made Using AI Generators

  6. Dreamspitter

    January 4, 2023 at 3:26 am

    AI cant draw hands or feet because unlike a face -which is symmetrical and has standard lines…the hand does not. It is asymmetrical, has a left and right variant, and can be posed in a multitude of ways -be it singly, OR together. (*Steeples fingers*) The most basic caveman understood The Hand, chiefly by making Handprints in cave art. The very first art Mankind ever made.

    Being able to draw feet is related, but different. There are a lot of artists that have trouble with them in the beginning. (But some never learn, like Rob Liefield) You have to understand the muscles beneath the skin, and the bones, as well as how skin changes shape. AI doesn’t understand range of motion, or how things move, or CAN move.

  7. Lexi

    January 17, 2023 at 10:56 am

    This phenomenon has actually lead me to believe in simulation theory.

    Why? Because I’ve met lots of people who hate feet. I never understood why they hated them until I saw what AI thinks of feet. It made me realize all those feet haters I encountered were actually NPCs controlled by AI. It makes so much sense now.

  8. Zachary

    February 2, 2023 at 5:42 am

    Great article. It may be a good thing that they can’t really get hands right. We won’t be totally fooled by an art piece if we can pick out small tells like that. Weird hands, strange overlaps, and suspect duplications of bodily features. Once that stuff gets figured out, then we can be worried

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