Saturday 10 June 2023

What's happening June 2023

I like the AI text to image generators, I have been using them recently to create interesting pictures to go with these words. While sitting at the table typing this out, on a cold wintery day but with the sun magnificently shining in on the table, I thought I'd challenge the AIs to draw the scene.

This isn't the first time I have tried this, to describe the scene in front of you and see how the AIs go recreating it. I'm starting to get a feel for it, flexing my prompt engineering muscles. For this I used which is a slightly newer version of Dalle-2.

If you start with a basic general prompt, you get  what I would call "a default trained picture". You can get it to redraw and it will have a seemingly infinite possibilities and combinations, but it sticks to a basic theme, "the sum of all pictures ever taken". It's unbelievably clever, but it's not the so of creative you are thinking, you start to see through it. If you now throw in more specific details, the picture will start going your way. Slowly you will over-detail it, pushing in too many directions and the results become worse than the first generic prompts. You can back off in certain details to recover, but too much detail pushes it into a corner where it doesn't really know what to do next and you will get the same not-what-you-wanted picture over and over.

So after all this I pulled out my actual camera, and took a photo, which is that first picture up there. I wasn't going to go to too much effort so the lighting is awful...yeah, it needs foreground lighting as the background is light oversaturated. "What's a poor camera to do?!"

I made the AIs make 50 or so attempts, and I while I liked the feel of some of them, most were not quite getting what I was after and there is always weirdness. Just objects and people that aren't formed correctly. Some is weird, some is funny, some can get creepy and fall into the uncanny valley.

Here are a few I saved, just for fun.

The key features I were looking for were man sitting at table typing on laptop, sun shining into room, miniature schnauzer sitting on mat, guitar in background.

Meanwhile, I still haven't recorded anything new, I'm just playing. More than usual, so I'm going over stuff I haven't played in a while.  Which means that there are parts of songs I have forgotten, which means they aren't at performance level.  Seeing as I have around 90 songs kicking around in my head, it's actually a big ask to keep them all in tip top condition.

I'm thinking I shortlist the ones that are at performance level and make sure I play through them once a month or two, to keep them fresh. And re-introduce older ones as they "come back" again.  And to really challenge myself, give that list to people when I'm playing out and ask what they'd like to hear.

Wish me luck! 👍

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