Generating images from an internet grab bag
2 min read

Generating images from an internet grab bag

Still amazed by this:

Here's CLIP+VQGAN (trained on internet photos and their accompanying text), prompted two different ways:

"A car driving down a desert road in monument valley"

The background is textured like bricks and is steep but confusing with no real sense of scale. A few white swooping scratches might be the road; a line of hairy stitches might be trees. Three bluish rectangles might be cars but look more like old-style flip phones.
A car driving down a desert road in monument valley

"A car driving down a desert road in monument valley | dramatic atmospheric ultra high definition free desktop wallpaper"

Clearly an aerial view of a red landscape in monument valley, with an iconic butte jutting dramatically in front of streams of mist. The road is still a weirdly twisted ribbon and the cars are gray and black shiny lumps.
A car driving down a desert road in monument valley | dramatic atmospheric ultra high definition free desktop wallpaper

The SAME algorithm was capable of producing both images but thought the first one was a better answer until I changed my question.

That's a problem with training AIs on huge amounts of internet data - a lot of that data isn't going to be what you want, and the AI doesn't know the difference.

Here's "a toaster"

It looks like a marker drawing of a toaster-sized object with rounded corners, but with far more lumps and protrubrances and the upper corners all are textured like toast. A single cartoon eye looks tiredly out from the upper right of the object.
a toaster

The toaster is partially made of toast so I tried to get it to generate a toaster made of chrome instead. Turns out I don't think I can get it to do a toaster made of chrome without in some way incorporating the logo of Google Chrome. General internet training seems to poison certain keywords.

A very shiny definitely metallic object with approximately the aspect ratio of a toaster but with one end twisted around to face the viewer. The shiny edges of the toaster have the colors and patterns of the google chrome logo reflected in them.
a chrome toaster | chrome

We may never know all that's in internet training data, and yes, that should scare us a little.

I generated a whole bunch more toasters that I collected as bonus content. Become an AI Weirdness supporter to get it! Or become a free subscriber to get new AI Weirdness posts in your inbox.

You can try CLIP+VQGAN for free by following the instructions in this tutorial (no coding or Spanish language skills necessary.)