100 Generative Images
Nearly every day, I see one or more posts, podcasts, or think pieces about the promise and/or peril of Generative AI like ChatGPT, Midjourney, DALL-E, etc. Economists and politicians worry that so many jobs will be automated away that the economy collapses. Journalists are sounding the alarm that these technologies enable disinformation and manipulation on a massive scale at near zero cost. Educators are struggling to identify which of their students’ term papers were written by machines. Technologists see these tools as powerful amplifiers and accelerators of human creativity that will spark a new renaissance. For a deeper dive, here’s John Oliver’s characteristically informative and hilarious take.
As with any new technology, I’m sure we’ll struggle to avoid AI’s pitfalls but I’m on Team Optimist. I think that as these tools mature, they’ll carry the potential to revolutionize creative work and maybe even society for the better. If the PC is a bicycle for the mind and the internet it its motorcycle, then maybe, if we get this right, generative AI could be the mind’s jet pack.
When Midjourney first went live, I ran a few experimental image prompts. I was fascinated by this new parlor trick but I wanted to try using it for something more than periodic dabbling. I developed a habit of writing a spontaneous image prompt each morning when I arrive at my desk. These prompts are inspired by current events, poems, people, conversations, films, holidays, or out-of-the-blue ideas. My only rule is that they reflect my whim in that moment. In that way, they’re a highly fragmented chronicle of the random thoughts that accompany my morning coffee.