AI Weirdness: the strange side of machine learning
See How Much! logo is white on red with three white pears

Very normal grocery stores

I was reminded recently that US grocery stores often have strange names. I grew up shopping at Big Bear and Giant Eagle and thought it was very normal for grocery stores to be named after megafauna.

Given a list of real but strange grocery store names to complete (such as Piggly Wiggly, Food Lion, Hinky Dinky, and Smart & Final), I wondered what other names an AI might deem equally normal.

I used OpenAI's GPT-3 neural nets for the project, since they were trained on so much internet text that I could get away with relatively few additional examples. I immediately ran into a problem where the larger models recognized my examples as grocery stores and merely added more real-life stores to the list. But I had better luck with the smallest model, Ada. It seemed to respond to my list by alternating between random real brands, weird fanfiction, and stores like these:

Dandy Orchard
Large Bag
Boonie Weasel
Now & Then Foods
Eggfooted Turtle
Goomy Foods
See How Much!
Sleepy Bloom Bloom
Rhino On Windows
Brash & Haunted
Big Fuzzy
Blue Why Why
Jumbo Boost Built in Juice
Too Good to be True Foods
Fair-Oil Edible Foods
Rash Dung Parade
Little More Large Brook
McSkinney's Pile
Unknown Foods

It took me a while to collect these, because Ada would only add a few items at a time before stopping or veering off into text like this:

ABC Supermark offers price reductions on items that are free of per lot regulations, higher discounts on milk per gallon, milk AA's, corn bags, frosted yogurt containers, vitamins per gallon, orange juice, partiers' jerky, frozen pizzas, frozen pizzas with chain, baked beans, cans of soup/stir fry, unlimited unlimited milk milk milk milk milk milk milk milk milk milk milk milk

Still, I'd like to see the logos for some of these.

Become an AI Weirdness supporter to get bonus content, which is several other brands Ada invented that didn't quite sound like grocery stores (although I Will Never Be The Same Again Specialty Foods does sound like it could be a supplier for some of the stores above). Or become a free subscriber to get new AI Weirdness posts in your inbox!

Botober 2021: plz draw the AI a sluggalope

Botober 2021: plz draw the AI a sluggalope

One of my favorite things ever is when AI instructs people to do silly creative things, and the humans gamely play along. For a couple of Octobers now I've used various AI models to generate daily #botober drawing prompts, and I've been amazed by the sheer creativity with which artists
AI is based on math so it is correct

AI is based on math so it is correct

Since OpenAI released CLIP, trained on internet pictures and their nearby text, people have been using it to generate images. In all these methods - CLIP+Dall-E, CLIP+BigGAN, CLIP+FFT, CLIP+VQGAN, CLIP+diffusion - you come up with a text prompt, some algorithm presents its images to CLIP,
It looks like a log of rice that's been rolled lightly in rainbow sequins.

In search of a unicorn cake

I've generated a lot of terrible unicorn cakes by this point. Last time I experimented with generating cakes, using CLIP's internet training to guide a couple of image generating methods. Around the time I posted my experiments, RiversHaveWings, who developed one of the most popular methods, came out with a
The cake is covered in a sagging marshmallowy coating that might once have had sleek robotic curves.

AI cake fails

AI cake fails are unlike any cake fails I've seen before. What do you get when your cake is being generated by something that's seen lots of pictures labeled "cake" but has never had a cake or experienced physics? CLIP+VQGAN are two algorithms that, when teamed up, take turns
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