4 min read

I asked an AI to draw me "an Operational Researcher"...

AI Weirdness had another great post using Big Sleep which uses a neural net to steer another neural net towards a given prompt. Again, I am amazed at how much easier it has become to play with these, from the second link you can go into their Google Colab workbook and drive a properly set-up virtual machine in seconds. For free.

The first thing I asked for was “an Operational Researcher”. I got this:

Big Sleep with prompt “an Operational Researcher”

Which appears to be some sort of fly on a pencil, and an awesome album cover.

I was given access to a gigantic neural net 1 on Google’s hardware, and I’ve been reading/watching bits of William Gibson, the father of Cyberpunk, recently. 2 So I asked it to draw me a “neuromancer”:

Big Sleep with prompt “neuromancer”

Which ought to be the cover for a Gibson novel, or a Doctorow/Stross novel. Or maybe a Gary Numan album, possibly The Network.

One very useful feature of the colab notebook is that you can choose the random seed. This should improve reproducibility. It also showed me how lucky I was to get that image on my first run, many seeds produced garbage.

One seed was doing well:

Big Sleep with prompt “neuromancer”, different random seed to above

but eventually fell into feature collapse:

Previous image with more training demonstrating feature collapse

Which still look like awesome album covers.

After asking for “neuromancer”, “technomancer” came to mind, reminding me of a sysadmin friend. Seed 0 was definitely a Numan album cover.

Prompt “technomancer”, seed 0

Seed 3 showed promise, but collapsed before too long:

Prompt “technomancer”, seed 3

Since it was giving me trippy images, I gave it the prompt “your brain on drugs”. It delivered feature collapse.

Before feature collapse:

Prompt “your brain on drugs”, before feature collapse

After feature collapse:

Prompt “your brain on drugs”, before feature collapse

  1. but still smaller than a hamster.↩︎

  2. Opening crawl for Johnny Mnemonic (movie) starts “Second decade of the 21st century. Corporations rule. The world is threatened by a new plague”. Cyberpunk isn’t supposed to be that prophetic.↩︎