This painting of a west Norwegian farming village is actually made by an artificial intelligence named MidJourney. And indeed, it is a sight many of us west Norwegians would not bet against having seen in our travels. It is not copied off the Internet though: I watched the AI go through several versions of this painting before I settled on this one.
Today, September 10th, 2022, was the first time I heard a YouTuber greet his audience as “human and AI”. I wonder if that will be the new “ladies and gentlemen”? Maybe the time is finally drawing close when, as a much better man than me once said, “God can wake up children for Abraham from these stones.” I have already long had in mind when writing my journal, that someday after my passing, an AI may read through Google’s archives and find my excessively detailed thoughts there. But maybe it won’t even be after my passing, if I take my vitamins and cut down on the Pepsi. You see, the progress in the field of AI has been nothing short of remarkable recently.
I returned to this topic of interest a couple of weeks ago after a casual mention on a website of a new program that generates images from text prompts. Turns out there has been released a flurry of such image generators this year, and they are growing steadily more advanced. My current favorite is MidJourney, and it is probably the most popular these days. After the latest upgrades, it gets faces right much of the time, at least when it gets to focus on them. This has proven to be one of the most difficult parts for AI, with the notable exception of the AI that specializes in them. Yes, “This person does not exist” which provided my picture in October last year, is also an AI.
So this is not my first run-in with Artificial Intelligence, far from it. Grammarly, a spelling, grammar, and style checker that I use under doubt after it has been greatly improved, is also an AI. It still makes some embarrassing mistakes, but then again so do I. Together we do better.
In my archives, you will find a number of versions of Dragon NaturallySpeaking, the speech-to-text program that eventually became better than nothing. I used it for years when my wrists hurt worse than my throat, but these days it is the other way around so I rarely fire it up. It is pretty amazing now though, and probably even better if you have English as your first language. Actually, that might depend on your dialect, I guess. According to Dragon, I speak Great Lakes English. I am pretty sure they don’t sound like the bandits from Skyrim though, while I do. Anyway, that’s another Artificial Intelligence application. In fact, it was based on the work of Ray Kurzweil, the great prophet of AI and modern futurism in general. And he is indeed planning to become an AI of sorts, by uploading his mind to a computer when the technology is ready for that. Good luck with that.
Anyway, today I was planning to demonstrate for y’all an AI tool that can take a brief outline or just a bunch of idea keywords, and expand them into a full-sized blog post. Doesn’t that sound amazing? But given that all the paragraphs above were my introduction before I started on the main topic… maybe I don’t need it. On the other hand, maybe we all (if we live long enough) will begin to use AI in so many facets of our life that we gradually become them, without ever noticing.