AI Weirdness: the strange side of machine learning
2022: French stick - Artisanally crafted, wooden, low-fat stick, thin enough to fit in a toaster.

Predicting the next toy fads with AI

Few could have predicted that the must-have toy of 1998 would be an owl-like bilingual hamster doll with infrared sensors, or that in 1975 kids would be begging their parents for a toy that is literally a single rock in a cardboard box. But could AI have predicted it? Could
A screenshot of the AI Weirdness 2021 Advent Calendar, with one of the doors highlighted

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
How to make an Intimidating Sponge Cake. Last step is "Hide it all under a carpet." (full version in post)

GPT-3: It can't resist a list

One strange thing I've noticed about otherwise reasonably competent text-generating neural nets is how their lists tend to go off the rails. I noticed this first with GPT-2. But it turns out GPT-3 is no exception. Here's the largest model, GPT-3 DaVinci, finishing this list of ingredients you put in
A vivid green and red landscape with wobbly jelly-like bushes.

Playing with Pixels

Here's "Ice Cream Planet Swirl", as generated by Pixray. Full prompt: Ice Cream Planet Swirl #8bit #pixelart. Colors are chocolate, minty green, and cream.Pixray uses CLIP, which OpenAI trained on a bunch of internet photos and associated text. CLIP acts as a judge, telling Pixray how much its images
A tunnel into a glowing cave filled with mushrooms, in pixel art style.

Bonus: What's down that hole?

This bonus post is now unlocked for everyone! In the main post I experimented with Pixray Swirl, which I could use to build an image and then sort of zoom into it. It took me a while to get the hang of steering, and I never quite got precise enough
Blue Screen of Death Message: A huge malevolent being of immeasurable strength has just awakened within your computer.

Use AI to improve your error messages

One of the fun things about working with a giant text-generating model with general internet training is that when it finishes responding to one of your prompts, it'll sometimes continue with a prompt of its own. (This can also be one of the NOT fun things, if its prompts veer
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