Imagine a house, but it’s upside-down, and made of meat, and someone’s pouring mustard all over it. Not the most pleasant image, but you didn’t have any trouble picturing it in your mind, right? Having computers do the same thing would be a powerful tool and also is just an interesting challenge on its own.
It’s actually been done before, but the results aren’t pretty. In this paper, however, the researchers essentially have the computer make first attempt based on its knowledge of words and images, then a separate algorithm evaluates the resulting picture and makes suggestions, and the picture is refined. It’s a bit like making a rough sketch of what you’re thinking of, then looking at it and fixing it for the next iteration. The pictures are still pretty crude, but they’re recognizable and that’s what matters.