Neural nest: AI-generated pigeon breeds
I'd been vaguely aware of pigeons until I read my friend Rosemary Mosco's book A Pocket Guide to Pigeon Watching.
Now I'm in love.
It started with the back cover, where there's a pigeon trying so hard to impress me with its puffed-up plumage. They're all such good pigeons.
And so in honor of my newfound appreciation of pigeons, I decided to generate some never-before-seen pigeon breeds. And to my unending delight, Rosemary agreed to help me.
She collected 42 real pigeon breeds with interesting names, like "Hungarian Giant House Pigeon" and "Archangel" and "Fish-eye Roller". Then I gave the list to a couple of neural networks, giant internet-trained models that are part of gpt-3. They're trained to complete text, so given a list of interesting pigeon breeds, they generally try to come up with new and equally interesting-sounding breeds. Here are some of our favorites, illustrated by Rosemary Mosco herself:
I love them all.
And if you or the pigeon fanciers in your life would like to learn more about real pigeons, I recommend you check out Rosemary's charming and informative book.
You can find other fun science and nature cartoons at Rosemary's website, birdandmoon.com.