AI-generated Valentine's Cards
I remember having to give out Valentine cards in elementary school, a mandatory expression of not-actual-valentine-feeling in which you could express your individuality and warm regard for your best friends and the classroom bully by giving them small store-bought cards with cartoon characters and generic messages on them.
But what if the messages could be not generic but weirdly unsettling? In other words, what if the cards were generated by a glitchy AI?
When I started this project, it was important to me that the AI specify not just the message, but also the images. Right now we don't quite have an AI capable of this. CLIP+DALL-E and similar CLIP-based algorithms can generate a picture of a sign that's at least a bit legible if the message is only a word or two long, and you spell out for it exactly what it should say. But asking for even something as simple as "a candy heart with a message" resulted in entirely illegible and extremely cursed items.
So, what I ended up doing was using a text-generating neural net to write both the message and a description of the accompanying picture. Then I did my best to create each card following its instructions.
To get the AI to do this, I started with a big neural net pre-trained on internet text. GPT-3 wasn't specially designed to generate Valentine card text, but it had seen enough examples of English, including humans wishing each other happy Valentine's Day, that I wouldn't need to somehow find thousands of card descriptions.
I skimmed a few online sites selling Valentine's cards and wrote up descriptions of a few of them. Some real cards I gave GPT-3:
Step into your power! - Image of a fearless ice witch
Valentine fun? No prob-llama for someone like you! - Image of a llama
Valentine: You're clawfully nice! - Image of a lobster
In all, I gave it 10 carefully curated examples. Then, since a text-generating neural net is essentially a text-predicting neural net, its job was to predict the rest of the list. Sure enough, it started adding things like the following:
This card is just the purrfect match! - Image of a kitty wielding a spork
Powered by this, you are my one true love! - Image of a grey slug who says "Oh no. Not again."
I crush you the heart cake way! - Image of a cow holding a cronut
Valentine, I have got a magical skill! - Image of a fairy clock (strawberry blend)
My task was then to pick my favorite cards and illustrate them somehow.
What you see here are my favorite cards from the four GPT-3 models, each of whom was given the task separately. There is a huge difference in size between the largest, DaVinci, and the smallest, Ada. But I'm not sure Ada was necessarily worse at generating Valentine's cards.
May your Valentine's Day be happy, or at least may it be loamy.
Want to confuse your friends with an AI-generated Valentine? You can order them from the AI Weirdness Zazzle store!
Bonus post for AI Weirdness supporters: extra Valentine cards that wouldn't fit in the post!