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AI Reveals What Lionel Messi Would Look Like as a Greek

Messi AI
Messi in real life (left) versus his appearance as a Greek according to an AI image generator. Credit: Tasnim News Agency / CC BY 4.0 / Wikimedia Commons / @charactercraze

Have you ever wondered what Lionel Messi might look like if he was Greek? One online user tasked an AI (artificial intelligence) platform with generating images of Messi as a Greek, German, Indian, and several other ethnicities.

AI is increasingly available to the general public in various formats, such as chatbots like ChatGPT and image generators like Midjourney.

Since these platforms became available last year, online users have been engaging with them in increasingly creative and often amusing ways.

Messi gets an AI-generated Greek makeover

An online user called @charactercraze shared their AI-generated makeovers of the famous Argentinian footballer on the immensely popular social media platform TikTok.

In the viral post, Messi took on a variety of different appearances from around the world. There was Chinese Messi, Afghan Messi, Canadian Messi, etc. Each image of Messi in a different ethnic guise was presented in a simple headshot profile image.

In some cases, the AI swapped Messi’s attire for items of clothing associated with a particular nationality or ethnicity. For example, the Saudi Arabian version of the famous footballer was depicted wearing a kaffiyeh.

There was even a Greek version of Messi, although this was hardly the most dramatic transformation; indeed, the AI’s interpretation of Messi as a Greek did not look all that dissimilar to his actual real-world appearance.

AI Messi
AI-generated Messi as Saudi Arabian and South Korean. Credit: @charactercraze

Popularity of AI image generators surges

Owing to the many possibilities AI image generators offer users, often with a very gentle learning curve, their popularity has been growing rapidly in recent months.

Typically, these AI image generator platforms work based on textual inputs. Users simply have to type in a command and describe what kind of image they would like the AI to create.

The most popular platforms come with tools to refine the image and more experienced users tend to have a better understanding of what prompts they should use to produce the desired result.

Sometimes the images can be a little janky. For example, AI-generated hands have a noticeable tendency to appear in strange and unrealistic shapes or with extra fingers. A common complaint in the AI art community is that the otherwise perfect picture has been spoilt by misshapen hands.

Nevertheless, these AI image generators have been steadily improving in quality and online users are very keen to keep experimenting with them. This has led to some platforms having to suspend free accounts due to over-capacity.

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