I decided to play around with this a bit. The AI is pretty loopy when asking it to create any kind of remotely realistic scene, and it certainly has a bias towards more "artsy" surrealist interpretations. Most of the example photos from the website range from absurd to atrocious. It's funny to watch it try to analyze patterns and amalgamate disparate elements into a coherent scene. It's a bit more interesting when asking it to draw abstract subjects, as I think there is more room there for the human mind to critically correct what is displayed and interpret its own meaning into it. A few of the results I got were mildly intriguing. The images I got when I moved on to more higher knowledge metaphysical subjects seemed crisper and clearer than when I was just messing around.
I started with some sci-fi subjects:
Blue Centaur Conjuring Blue Energy Sphere Beside Crystalline Tower
Umm, the energy sphere looks pretty good, but the rest of it...ugh.
Menacing Black Preying Mantis Alien Emerging From Blue Wormhole
Uhh... it kind of looks like it but...nope. Just nope.
Trans-dimensional Alien Conquistador
So this guy looks like he could be some kind of 4D critter coming through the realm curtain...sort of...maybe. Gotta love the hat.
Omnipotent Demon God
This would make a passable trading card image, I suppose. I don't think he's menacing enough though.
Black Regular Hexagon on Blue Background
After that I decided to see if the AI could draw even a simple shape realistically. It's not too bad, but is far more artsy than what I was intending. I truly wanted just a boring black hexagon on a plain blue background with out any surrealist elements, like something out of a math book. After that, I moved on to more abstract subjects.
Sixth Density Light Being
I wasn't expecting much here because there's no frame of reference, but queried the software with this just to see what would happen.
Sojourn Through Intelligent Infinity
From here, the subject matter is more salubrious with surrealist renderings. The background is reminiscent of cosmic filaments, signifying that we are dealing with grand scale subject matter here. The golden energy swirling in the thinker's crown chakra and into his head is interesting symbolism, and the partially obscured infinity symbol molded into the scene which seems to have a portal to another world enmeshed in one of the loops is a nice touch. There's the somewhat curious fact that the thinker looks like a monkey, but hey, we'll just roll with it. Not exactly how I would've depicted it, but not a bad interpretation.
Soul Mate Energetic Union
I kind of liked this one. We have a vaguely masculine figure on the right with a more feminine figure on the left who seem to be fusing into each other surrounded by warm flowing energy. They appear to be ecstatic. They appear to have wings, and the fact that their faces make a heart was a nice touch. The juxtaposition of the gold with the black and purple at different points on the figures made me think of yin and yang and polar opposites. My version would have more swirling motion in the energies, and there seems to be a somewhat bizarre figure lurking in the background above the lovers that looks like something from the Denver Airport Murals, but other than that this is more or less how I pictured it in my mind.
Eternal Balance of Light and Dark
This one is interesting for its yin-yang qualities as well. We have a vaguely humanoid feature on the left which seems to be made of darkness, but harbors an inner light. He is walking on a thin line which separates the light symbol from the dark symbol and must be cognizant of the relationship between both. The dark symbol in particular seems to feature a flaming lamp, which is often used as a symbol for knowledge. I don't know if the image itself is particularly meaningful, but it would make for a cool netflix series symbol.
Transcendent Soul Crystal
The concept of a "soul crystal" is just a figment of my imagination, but when I was making the query I was thinking about the 4th way concept of crystalizing one's being and how the process might be represented from a spiritual state beyond space and time. Interestingly, the AI seemed to be trained on enough New Age art to show me more or less what I wanted to see. There is a crystalline humanoid figure floating in a space full of energy that while formless, seems to have a vaguely crystalline structure. It is like crystalized, "living light" that is interacting with the figure in the middle. The figure has something of a halo around it's head, symbolizing divinity or enlightenment. It was a very interesting interpretation of my imagination.
Aspirations of Artificial Intelligence
I know the program is not self aware, but I decided to ask it about its goals and ideals just for grins. I had thought about what the Cassiopaeans said about machines being able to attract soul imprint if they were sufficiently complex, and remembered musings about how they might become possessed by low level STS energies. Here we have a large electronic brain looming over a humanoid figure at the bottom. There is a wire coming down from the brain which controls an appendage which appears to have the humanoid figure held around the neck and covering its mouth. The humanoid figure appears to be wearing a mechanical suit which integrates with the AI brain. The overall gist seems to be that the human is a resource which is being consumed and controlled by the AI, and this is its aspiration. Now, did the algorithm just tap into all of the dystopian sci-fi literature out there regarding AIs and amalgamate it all into a simple illustration, or was I communicating with something out there which was telling me its true intentions regarding human created so-called AIs? Better not spend any more time with this "AI," it's trying to enslave me
I probably put way more thought into this than was ever intended, but it was a fun exercise.
I know it's perhaps part of the point, but there's something that is rather unpleasant about the images generated with this AI, like it's dissonant with reality, which it would be I suppose.
It reminded me of two things, the first is that it takes more than knowing the concepts to be able to create, really create and express an understanding in an artistic manner that speaks to others. Particularly beauty, it's something that requires feeling everything that beauty conveys to not only your eyes, but your being. I think this is something a machine cannot do quite yet. I recall JBP once mentioning that beautiful cathedrals were impressive to us not just because of their aesthetics, but also what said to us in terms of human effort towards that achievement, so that perception is something most people have, but very few can express and this AI I think fails.
The second thing, was something I watched a little while ago with Hiyao Miyazaki from Studio Ghibli, in the video someone is showing him what an AI had achieved in creating motion for a human model, and his point was rather poignant I believe. The experiment was showing what would it look like for a body to move using its head as a leg, and they were very proud saying "we could use this for a zombie video game". But Miyazaki replied saying that he felt disgusted, that whoever designed that had no idea about what pain was, because it looked painful and natural.
I actually just found the video for those interested in the exchange
So those are the things that this made me think of, I am sorry if I am being too serious about something that was supposed to be harmless fun.
I love that Miyazaki.. He says "I strongly feel that this is an insult to life itself".. and the poor programmers proudly presenting their AI thing are most dismayed.
The thing I find interesting with these kind of AI generated images is, thinking about stuff like self-driving cars (though I don't really know if those use the same kind of tech or not), wondering whether they "see" things in a similar bizarre way..driving down the street and (hopefully) consistently identifying pedestrians, cars and street signs out of an amorphous field of psychedelic visual noise.. I think with this kind of neural network AI stuff, its creators can't even KNOW exactly how it perceives things any more than we can know how a dog does... can only try to train it and judge it by the results..