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  • Writer's pictureMac Boyle

Showing Nonsense to Robots II

Again, I ask the gremlins of DALL·E to perform their mechanical necromancy on our episode titles.


Episode XI: "What's in YOUR Wallet?"

Honestly, this one was just disappointing. Not a strong start.

Episode XII: "My Husband's a Witch"

Not much better. The "marginalia" results produced nothing but text, and this was the best of the "art" results. Gremlins are lazy today.

Episode XIII: "A Starchy Sort of Tale"

Now we're talking. There's clearly some weird fairy-tale sh*t going on. Love the weird little gull-rat-creatures at the bottom. Excellent bronze birds at the top. I don't think the gremlins could figure out how to make something visibly "starchy", which is fair.

Episode XIV: "Royal Spousal Arguments 101"

This one is... it's fine. I think this was the best we were going to get with this prompt. I do like the ambiguity of what the third figure is doing. Is she the instructor of Arguments 101? Is she comforting the queen post-argument? Is she the queen's mistress and that's why there's an argument? Who's to say? (Though given the body language, I'd bet on that last option.)

Episode XV: "Truly 'Hot' Wings"

I was expecting really disappointing results on this one. Fully anticipating just a bunch of plates full of buffalo wings. But no. The gremlins knocked this one out of the park. We've got some kind of critter clearly based on a partially-plucked chicken that appears to be breathing fire, surrounded by flame motifs, in a passable impression of medieval marginalia. It looks like the dream of an unbalanced mind. No notes. This was the best -- and it obviously came from the "marginalia" prompt -- but the results from the "art" prompt had a couple potential runners-up.

Episode XV Honorable Mention I

Metal wings hovering in front of a fiery cauldron. Excellent work.

Episode XV Honorable Mention II


Episode XVI: "Everybody Can Be a People"

And we're back to dull. I guess there's just not enough specific terms for the gremlins in this one. This was so disappointing I actually ran it twice just to see if we could get something better... and nope, this is the peak. I do kind of like the guy in the weird mask in the bottom right, but that's all I've got here.

Episode XVII:

... is the other nameless epilogue episode.

Episode XVIII: "The Y6K Plague-of-Locusts"

You know what? It's not bad. It's got a good vibe. I don't have a whole lot else to say about it, but I like the style. Some quality bugs here.

Episode XVIII Honorable Mention:

Looks like a plague all right.

Episode XIX: "That Was Bad Cyning"

Strange blue people and an incomprehensible critter? That's what I'm here for. I don't have anything else to add -- this is nonsense and the nonsense is good. Sadly, all the results for the "art" prompt were terrible. (And weirdly uniform, as they were all stone carvings.) Every single one of them, someone could have showed me and said "I took this picture in a medieval church I visited on my trip to Europe" and I would have believed them without question. Completely, horribly, mundane. Though somewhat worrying for art historians; I wonder if we'll see someone try to pass off an AI work as "previously undiscovered" and publish a paper on it?

Episode XX: "A Good Christian Mugging"

Okay, that's pretty good. The weird "mottled blobs" look that I associate with AI art is nice to see -- especially since, again, the "art" prompt spit out nothing but completely mundane-looking sculpture; just regular-looking statues of Jesus all down the line. (I don't think I like that computers are good at imitating religious statuary.) This picture genuinely looks to me like it fits the prompt too, because the halo says "holy man" but the facial expression says "gonna do some crimes". Not sure what to think about that fleshy lump he's cradling.

Episode XX Honorable Mention:

I think the figure on the right is in a hot air balloon. I'm fascinated as to whether that makes the mugging easier. (And whether the aeronaut is the victim or the perpetrator.)


These ten? Not as good as the last ten. I'll still probably keep this up, because it entertains me if nothing else.

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