An AI advent calendar
When I was a kid I looked forward to opening advent calendar doors in December, although the pictures behind the doors were pretty forgettable. A bell. A snowflake. If you were lucky, a squirrel.
So I thought I'd see if I can generate something a bit more interesting, with the help of AI. To generate the door descriptions, I used GPT-3, a text-generating neural network trained on internet text. I gave it the following story to complete, and saved my favorite responses:
We have a particularly interesting specimen here, which came to the Shop of Strange Antiques earlier this month. It appears to be an advent calendar of some sort, although this is only a guess based on the doors numbered 1 through 25, as the scenes behind each door are rather... atypical.
Item: Advent Calendar (?)
Provenance: Left on windowsill
For illustrations, I used Pixray (free demo here), giving it the full image description that GPT-3 generated. Based on feedback from CLIP, an algorithm that has seen a lot of images and text on the internet, it shaped pixel art that attempted to illustrate each description.
Not everything worked. There were a bunch of good descriptions that were much too long to fit on a calendar door, and there were also a few that Pixray had an especially difficult time illustrating (I'm looking at you, "Santa Claus eating pancakes while riding a giant sloth".) For the glorious failures, check out the bonus post.
But some of the doors worked out! Behold!