AI Weirdness: the strange side of machine learning

Tag: gpt-3

Total 41 Posts
My Resolution: Take photos of each of my toes daily.

New Years Resolutions generated by AI

This month I'm beginning 2022 as the first Futurist in Residence at the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building. It's weird to think of myself as a futurist. I write a lot about the algorithms we're calling artificial intelligence (AI), but rather than deal with the humanlike science fiction version, I
The Three Christmas Weasels

Christmas entities

When you think about it, Christmas can get pretty weird. There's the classic Christmas story of the Bible, and then there are all these extra entities that aren't in the book but which become somehow part of Christmas. And some of them are quite unsettling. There's the immortal flying reindeer
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
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
Scented Pouter, Most-Kneed Tiptoeing Pigeon, Rodeo Puff, Half-waved Party Pigeon, Little Gem, Long-headed Clearwing

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. From
I'm dressing as a vampire for Halloween! More impressive:I shall be displaying my vampiric prowesses at a Halloween carnaval

How to improve your Halloween costume

I've amused myself before by getting GPT-3 to change one kind of text into another. With just a few style-change examples, I got it to change the Winnie the Pooh theme song into this: In the uncanny depths of the Hundred Acre Wood is the place where the great wizard
See How Much! logo is white on red with three white pears

Very normal grocery stores

I was reminded recently that US grocery stores often have strange names. I grew up shopping at Big Bear and Giant Eagle and thought it was very normal for grocery stores to be named after megafauna. Given a list of real but strange grocery store names to complete (such as
Botober 2021: plz draw the AI a sluggalope

Botober 2021: plz draw the AI a sluggalope

One of my favorite things ever is when AI instructs people to do silly creative things, and the humans gamely play along. For a couple of Octobers now I've used various AI models to generate daily #botober drawing prompts, and I've been amazed by the sheer creativity with which artists
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