When a social media user, Samet Karaboğa, asked Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create Disney characters of Turkish political leaders, the results went viral.
Karaboğa shared illustrations of 9 of the 10 leaders AI had created for him on his Instagram page, Samet SKB Karaboğa (@samkrbg). He apologised for having to omit the one of Ahmet Davutoğlu, a former Prime Minister and now Gelecek Party leader, due to the platform’s limit on the number of images per post.
The images were presented in the following order: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (both pictured above), Devlet Bahçeli, Meral Akşener, Ümit Özdağ, Selahattin Demirtaş, Erkan Baş, Muharrem İnce, Ali Babacan and Temel Karamollaoğlu.
Most of the leaders had flattering representations of themselves as Disney characters, such as the grandfatherly Temel Karamollaoğlu (Saadet Party) and the ‘good guy next door’ Ali Babacan (DEVA Party).
AI was not so kind with the way it chose to depict the Turkish President: there is a menacing look to Erdoğan’s illustration, which shows him as a scowling, cross-eyed character in a pale blue mandarin collared jacket, towering over people in some mythical land.
Karaboğa said, “I am trying new things to train artificial intelligence. I trained it with the visuals of those who lead the Turkish politics. When I combine it with the Disney models, something like this came out.”
The artist recently asked AI to generate a new batch of images of the leaders, this time styled as Funko Pop characters (big heads on small bodies), with the computer-generated images (see below) offering a completely different take on Turkiye’s most familiar faces in politics today.
Karaboğa, who describes his art as “dark, disturbing and dystopic”, says he has taught AI another style, but won’t be sharing the new images of the leaders just yet. Perhaps after the Turkish elections next month…
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