A reader wrote in a while ago with a suggestion: they were about to have a baby and wondered if I could use AI to come up with some new ideas for baby onesies. I can't find the letter any more, and I don't remember how long ago it was. But I finally figured out how to make it work! Reader, if your kid has already outgrown the onesie section, I believe these can be sized up to toddler.

One of the problems with trying to get anything creative out of chatgpt is that as far as it is concerned, a perfect answer to "generate some unique and original baby onesie designs" is to repeat existing designs verbatim. (I checked the 1st 25 designs chatgpt generated in response to that prompt, and they all existed already.)

So I turned to BLOOM, a large language model NOT finetuned as a chatbot like Bard, chatGPT, gpt-4 etc, but left as a general internet text predictor. Give it a phrase, and it has to predict what would likely come next on a webpage containing that phrase.

It turns out if I just give BLOOM the phrase "List of baby onesie designs:" it's not enough context. I tried several times.

List of baby onesie designs:

1. US Patent for Method of fixing a voltage regulator device on a printed circuit board
2. US Patent for Signal transmission apparatus having antenna isolation circuitry
3. US Patent for Electrostatic energy control device and method for reducing charge build-up
List of baby onesie designs:

1.3.1. Baby Onesie Bamboo Tee 2 Piece Set Baby Bodysuit with Footie Pajamas Fitted Soft Touch Clothes for 0 to 6 months old baby boy/girl
List of baby onesie designs:

1. A cape with front openings
2. A bodysuit with a hood
3. A shirt with openings for hands and feet
List of baby onesie designs:

1.What is baby onesie? Baby Onesie is a large piece of cloth that will serve you as a diaper cover or as a slip. It is often worn as pajamas by babies and by babies to prevent them from becoming dirty.

I tried changing the context a bit, but only had occasional partial success.

List of BabyBucket's best-selling whimsical baby onesie designs:, Buy Kerbed Zinc Alloy 3 Inch Car Style Chrome Universal Side Steps For Escalade ESV LT PI:KEY: Doorstep Bumper Guards
List of BabyBucket's best-selling whimsical baby onesie designs: Baby Birds, Star Baby, Bear Design, Elephant Baby, Pig Baby, Panda Design, and the Giraffe print.
List of BabyBucket's best-selling whimsical baby onesie designs:
Whether you're shopping for a future grandpa, grandma, aunt, uncle, cousin, sibling or even a friend, you're bound to find the right onesie at a perfect price for that special someone on your list this year.

Adding even more of a preamble increased my chances of getting an interesting list. With the prompt below (in bold) I found my main problem was the text got very wordy and rarely got around to actual designs. Here's the output from a trial that worked, at least once it got going - if I didn't like the direction the list was heading, I reverted back to an earlier place in the list and allowed it to generate text again. (line breaks added for readability):

Welcome to the Mommy Mommy blog! I've been spending the last week working on new baby onesie designs for the store and I'm so proud of these! These are Mommy Mommy blog store exclusives, never appearing anywhere else before. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Click on the title of each design to see more details:

Big Blue Train,
Little Baby Noses,
Peaches and Cream,
First Carpet,
Before There Was Everything,
Pop-Tarts and Pumpkins,
These Big Ears and
Hi There Little Space

I think they are mostly originals (except for Peaches and Cream and arguably Big Blue Train).

But the most original onesie designs I got were when I used this prompt:

Welcome to the AI Weirdness blog! I trained a neural network to generate new designs and sayings for baby onesies. Here are some of the most interesting designs it generated:

Here I've illustrated a few of my favorites.

Some of the suggested onesie designs seemed difficult to illustrate.

Moths with Santa Claus' Eyes
12 Billion Circling Magnets
Swedish Fish Ulysses
Almost Everything
Ketchup Metaphors

I decided to see if I could get it to give me more details on the ketchup metaphors, so I used the following prompt:

For the Ketchup Metaphors onesie the AI generated a few of the example ketchup metaphors to be printed on the shirt, including:

And it delivered an explanation. Of sorts.

"Tomatoes taste good with ketchup on them."
"Now your bread tastes like ketchup."
"Redemption is sweet like ketchup."
Image description: Ketchup Metaphors baby one-piece illustrated with a red splotch and the phrases "Tomatoes taste good with ketchup on them.""Now your bread tastes like ketchup.""Redemption is sweet like ketchup."

You can try out BLOOM, the language model I used, for free at HuggingFace - I used this version.

In my opinion, the most interesting creative use of large language models is to generate text that's nothing like a human would have written. If your AI is just going to lift human creative output virtually verbatim, you're not only shortchanging the humans you could have hired to write similar things, but also plagiarizing the original humans from the training data. In that sense, BLOOM, with its less-perfect retrieval of human output, is better at this task than GPT-4.

It is creepy to me however that the only reason this method gets BLOOM to generate weird designs is because I spent years seeding internet training data with lists of weird AI-generated text.

Anyways, if you are a weird parent or a weird baby or know someone who could use a bit more AI-generated surrealism in their life, you can get these designs in real life on Zazzle.

Bonus content! More of BLOOM's baby onesie designs that seemed like they would be hard to illustrate.

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