How AI Poops Rainbows

Stop! You! Do not click away! I know the headline is concerning, but I promise you, there is a lot behind it, and I will explain it to you. So, first, take a look at the cover image. Do you like my artwork? I took Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man as inspiration, and made him contemporary as a robot. Not only that, I also clacked a rainbow into it.

I think this work is cool. And it was not created by my human mind in a warm body, but by thousands of processors in a cold machine. The artificial intelligence developed by OpenAI called DALL-E allows the creation of a work of art with a few keywords. Here I simply used the word combination “vitruvian man robot in style of leonardo da vinci” and I got four results.

A new attempt with the addition of the word “rainbow” brought these results:

And with a bit of editing with the DALL-E tool, I came up with this cover image:

The possibilities are fascinating and almost limitless. Even non-artists can quickly create reasonably interesting and unique illustrations with it. Like here with the keywords “mad race dog driving Teslas in style of Pieter Bruegel“. You can’t recognize the Tesla, but who will be so petty?

We are reaching a point where artificial intelligence is moving from being a tool that runs in the background of applications and makes shopping suggestions or serves us ads to one that can be actively visible and used in the foreground.

Generative AI, such as that used by DALL-E, draws from a database of paintings and, using simple text input, allows the creation of new art in the style and inspiration of existing art.

Generative AI is not limited to paintings. It can also be used to generate videos and audio. Meta, Facebook’s parent company, just introduced Make-A-Video, which creates videos several seconds long from text or simple photos.

And just recently, a fictional interview between podcaster Joe Rogan and Apple founder Steve Jobs, who died a decade ago, made the rounds. Fed with hundreds of hours of audio clips from the two, the AI was able to generate its own version of a podcast that never happened.

All these examples for me back to the title of this post, because we see here potentially a creative explosion. Anyone can create art with just a few words, whether you know how to swing a brush, hold a camera, or are more likely to have two left hands. And that’s what Stability AI CEO Emad Mostaque, on the occasion of the closing of the first round of investment in his company by Google and other companies to the tune of a massive $101 million, summed up as follows:

So much of the world is creatively constipated, and we’re going to make it so that they can poop rainbows.

Emad Mostaque, CEO of Stability AI

There seems to be no limit to AI at the moment. Almost every day we hear about new application areas in which various forms of AI are being used. It creates photo-realistic portraits of non-existent people, writes articles for newspapers, or drives cars and the real world. And there I have been, repeatedly, riding in a driverless robot cab in San Francisco or using FSD Beta on a Tesla Model 3.

Like here in this video, where something unusual also ran in front of our car: two coyotes on a nightly hunt. At least they didn’t poop in front of our car.

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