When I saw the princess from Brave appear unexpectedly in an AI’s attempt to illustrate some misheard sea shanty lyrics (just another day on this blog), I had to look her up to remind myself her name was Merida. I ended up on the Disney Wiki entry for Merida, which got me wondering whether I could generate new Disney princesses.

Rows of Disney princesses with weirdly emphasized bustlines, in front of pastel cottages and a blue-roofed castle. No individual character is identifiable, although they do have a Disney princess vibe to them. From a distance it's a crowd of princesses. Up close it's a crowd of nightmares.
Disney Princesses, as generated by CLIP+FFT

I used GPT-3, a set of big text-generating neural nets trained on huge amounts of internet text. The GPT-3 models have seen wiki articles before, and there’s a LOT online about Disney princesses, so I decided to see what they could do with just two example entries adapted from the wiki, one on Merida and one on Moana.

Here’s what DaVinci, the largest of the GPT-3 models, generated. After just two short examples it had figured out how to add new entries following the general format, and even knew to generate them about Disney characters. It got many details correct! It also got many details wrong.

Model: DaVinci, temperature 1.0

Name: Snow White

Occupation: Princess of the Kingdom of Tabor

Dietary Needs: Unknown

Powers and abilities: Magic Wand (heighten sensation/emotion/physical strength/physical weakness), Animal friends: bats, squirrels, and birds. Can control them all at once.

Animal friends: Flies, Wolves, and Rabbits

Paraphernalia: Magic Wand, Bearskin cloak, Hair ribbon, fake shoe, Stolen chicken, Dew flies.
Name: Bambi

Occupation: Prince of the Forest

Paraphernalia: None

Likes:His family, The Greater Good, Being outside, Being With His Mothers Friends

Dislikes: Hunters, Caning from His Mothers Friends, deer-flies, Man's interference in nature
Name: Belle

Occupation: Nobody

Powers and abilities: None, save for her intellect and empathy

Paraphernalia: Lantern created by her father Maurice

Likes: Animals, reading, science, inventions, her father's inventions, singing, medicine

Dislikes: Vermin, Horned King, Rourke, McNab, Mr. O'Malley, Gaston, the West Wing, Halloween and those who celebrate it, Tick-Tock the Crocodile, judging people
Name: Nala

Occupation: Queen of Pride Rock, princess-in-exile (formerly), Second in command and leader of the Lion Guard

Paraphernalia: The Lullaby Scepter, Her fleet of gnu, Thorn

Likes: Singing, Taking care of the Pride Landers

Dislikes: Hyenas, disorder, corruption, Scar, feeling complacent, her hyena past

But DaVinci stuck with existing Disney characters, even at the highest creativity setting. That’s technically what I asked for, since its task was to add to the end of a list of Disney characters. But it wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted new characters.

So I turned to the smallest GPT-3 model, Ada, hoping it would be confused enough to fail to come up with existing characters. It worked.

Model: Ada, temperature 1.0

Name: Watercolor Cookie

Object of the represented character's ongoing relationship: Pirate/Scientists

Occupation: princess of a village

Powers: a large amount of ink in her fingers, ability to draw lines with it, vines, chicken

Dislikes: Lots of bugs and anything with legs
Name: Rumpo

Occupation: Soldier in the Lost Bay Mercenary Guild

Powers and abilities: Master archery, Master sword fighting, Her Devil Rumpo Dagger

Dislikes: Recklessness, an extremely bad reputation, private prayers, Rabbits
Name: Banks Afloat

Occupation: Pirate chief in the Tonawanda Swamp

Personality: Combative, passionate, impervious to cruelty and aversion to insanity, does not believe in any of supernatural powers and believes in a new and dangerous Age of Men

Powers and abilities: Superhuman strength, immunity to supernatural influences, flight with a Ten-Foot Pole and built sturdy boat and canoe, omnipresence: taking on the form of anyone, able to fly if called upon by renown indestructible courage skill at coup de grace, supernatural invisibility, unlimited memory and recall, and a super-strength equivalent to that of a God, and replenishing drinks at whim, and magic flutes.

Likes: Her wild and free lifestyle, hiking, canoeing, boating, food, sea shells, her family, magic, pirates, the Bahamas, cookies

Dislikes: Being tied down to a chartered vessel to ensure justice for stealing her crewman's land, her family's dangerous past, pirates

Some of these princesses seem a bit overpowered, but to know for sure, I’d have to see the villains.

I only had room for some of the princess profiles here, since they’re quite long, but I also experimented with the other two GPT-3 models. Become an AI Weirdness supporter to read the rest as bonus content! Or become a free subscriber to get new AI Weirdness posts in your inbox.

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