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?

With all my sparklepants! - Image of a sparkly unicorn Hacks, kisses and nuzzle nuzzles - Image of a happy dog Hugs for your Valentine, from the inside! - Image of a pink heart-shaped mouth You're the snail's poise! - Image of a snail Valentine: How cuddly! - Image of a doughnut wearing a crown Supermacrootextacularly big thanks for you! - Image of a tenacious opossum
Model: GPT-3 DaVinci

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.

Boop-rah, sexy fried heart! - Image of a purple heart with bunny ears Have a crunchy, juicy, loamy Valentine's Day! - Image of a cow holding a cupcake Crush you crumpets, crush you crumpettes, crush you things! - Image of a owl with a slingshot You're super dangly, you're super dangly! - Image of a fish surrounded by hearts Call him a loaf, for he knows not to dine on plants. - Image of a hamburger with arrow pointing at lettuce Crush hearts with your lovely forehead, Valentine! - Image of a unicorn-bear hybrid
Model: GPT-3 Curie

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.

Baaa! Not here, not with me! - Image of a yellow dragonAll sorts of fun are here... - Image of a pencil catDear Valentine, I've made special yogurt to celebrate your brand new big heart! - Image of a duckLet's have a heart-themed Valentine season! - Image of a heart on a stickI'm such an eel! - Image of a giant eel with a heartI fear no clowns! - Image of a marlin
Model: GPT-3 Babbage

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.

Happy Valentine! That's what my friends call it. - Image of a fat hen Valentine is super sexy! - Image of a chickpea Valentine: This birthday's for The Dog! - Image of a red panda Happy day of the year! - Image of a kitten I am no one! - Image of a happy bunny Who giveth and taketh away? - Image of a jellyfish
Model: GPT-3 Ada

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!

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