Art and technology have converged over the last few quarters through products like Midjourney and Stable Diffusion, but they’re still continuing to converge — and in some very surprising ways.
It’s now possible to create QR codes that look like pieces of art using AI tools. As shared by Reddit user nhciao, these QR codes look like paintings, but are fully functional QR codes.
This here looks like a regular painting of a tree, but is a fully-functioning QR code. The giveaway is the three squares on three corners, which are used to align the computer to where the QR code is. The other elements of the QR code are cleverly hidden in the branches of the tree.
This again is a functioning QR code. Like the previous code, it has the three rectangles, but the other elements of the QR code are contained in this stunning Manga-style art.
This looks more like a conventional QR code, but the inner points have been stylized to look like an impressive bit of artwork.
QR code art created with Stable Diffusion and Control Net
And this QR code art hides the actual QR code data within a set of beautiful cottages covered with snow.
These QR codes are made with Stable Diffusion, which is an open-source image generation tool which powers technologies like Dreambooth, which allows people to create AI likenesses of themselves. ControlNet is a neural network structure to control diffusion models by adding extra conditions, which brings high levels of control to Stable Diffusion. Both technologies have been out for a while, but it’s only now that someone seems to have found a whole new use-case for them: QR codes. It’s hard to imagine how this won’t become mainstream — as opposed to having drab QR codes on display, brands would love to have customized and stylish QR codes in their merchant locations. And this just goes to show that the wave of innovation that AI might spearhead, in both big ways and small, could just be getting started.