Amazon’s New Fashion Designer Is An Algorithm

Eric Lieberman | Associate Editor

Amazon is developing artificially intelligent (AI) algorithms that can help study, or even create, the newest fashion trends.

A group of researchers at the company are studying the prospect of gathering images of a certain fashion style and then, through an algorithm, reproducing similar, but new designs based off those images, according to an MIT Technology Review report published Thursday.

The specific algorithm is called a generative adversarial network (GAN), a subset of artificial intelligence used in machine learning, MIT Technology Review reports. The GAN technique generates photographs that are synthetic, but to the naked eye look authentic.

Amazon revealed these projects during a workshop in which it invited academic researchers to study, for the most part, how machines can interpret various fashion styles.

The company is evidently trying to cultivate a stake in the apparel business, as it starts to delve into a number of projects, including creating its own clothing brands, and organizing a Prime Wardrobe feature, which would allow customers to put on clothes before final purchase.

The once relatively simple e-commerce platform has been steadily transforming into a massive conglomerate over the years. From services like cloud-computing, video streaming, pizza ordering, and grocery delivery, to the creation of award-winning original shows and movies, Amazon is stretching its commercial influence into an array of industries. Now fashion seems to be one of its latest endeavors. (RELATED: Amazon Looking To Block Store Customers From Checking Prices On Their Phones)

“There’s been a whole move from companies like Amazon trying to understand how fashion develops in the world,” Kavita Bala, a professor at Cornell University who took part in a Amazon workshop on machine learning and fashion last week, told MIT Technology Review. “This is completely changing the industry.”

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