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  • Writer's pictureMac Boyle

Showing Nonsense to Robots III

Once more, the DALL·E gremlins perform mechanical necromancy on our episode titles.


Episode XXI: "Once More With Feeling"

Appropriately-named for a blog post that is a repeat on a theme. Also, our best result this time is... this picture that's just a weird little guy. I like the weird little guy; let's break down what we've got here. We've got someone in a kind of hooded white robe -- I'd suggest that makes him a Cistercian monk, but he's wearing a very fancy necklace-thing there, which I don't think monks are supposed to have. He's not really human; it looks to me like there's some avian influence here based on the big lidless eyes and the way his face sticks out in a beak shape. Either he has a nosebleed or he's just pecked someone pretty hard. He's staring out of a monastery window or something at a strange floating red ball (it looks to me like the AI tried to draw a wax seal in colored pencils without actually recognizing the important elements of a wax seal). I think he's supposed to be resting his hand on the windowsill / balcony ledge / whatever), but something went wrong in the vicinity of his hand, so the ledge doesn't connect up and his arm seem to just taper into a kind of flipper rather than a hand. Also, he appears to have a bat in his sleeve. I can see no connection to the prompt -- on this or any other result -- but I enjoy it anyway.

Episode XXII: "Vote for Skin Chairs"

I was optimistic about this one, since it has a clear image that the gremlins could grab onto. And it looks like I was correct to be, since this is excellent. (The "art" prompt fell on its face again, though; just a bunch of normal chairs, many of which were very clearly upholstered in cloth.) This gremlin understood the instructions. That is 100% an AI trying to design an election campaign for someone who makes people into skin chairs. I love the enthusiastic check marks on one side (yes! vote! these are what votes look like!). I love the glyphs on the left and on the chair itself that very much look like they're borrowed from a grimoire. I love the chair itself on the honestly-pretty-good parchment background. And I love, love, love, the slogan that looks like it's been smeared in blood.

Che yo chones;

ve fhe Git vod.

Vot Chear.

Episode XII Honorable Mention

\These are just some pretty good chairs. Flames are good, overall shape is good, weird little reddish critters hanging out between them are good -- and the ambiguously-skeleton-like thing is very good.

Episode XXIII: "Animal Husbandry with Malicious Intent"

This very much looks like a depiction from some folk art tradition or other (couldn't tell you what tradition it looks like, because it's outside my general realm of medieval Europe, but it looks vaguely familiar) of a person summoning a demonic bull to impregnate their... um... livestock? Quadruped. It was unexpected and yet fit the prompt, so I decided to experiment with the "Generate variations" option. Worth it; here are all four results in a little slideshow.

Malicious intent indeed.

Episode XXIII Honorable Mention

I think this one's bringing mechanical necromancy into it.

Episode XXIII Honorable Mention II

It's a happy dog!

Episode XXIV: "Pride Month and Medieval Sexuality"

An awfully staid title for us, but it turned out a fairly cute result. Slightly confused by whether they've just got a pride flag draped across their laps or they're wearing some kind of two-person kilt-like garment. Also, looking at their belts... they appear to be... armed? Maybe they're members of the Sacred Band of Thebes. "Be a the Bestie", indeed.

Episode XXIV Honorable Mention

I don't know exactly what's going on here, but I think it might violate those content policies that kept me from typing "kinky" for Episode IV. Let's move on.

Episode XXV: "Oops, All Leeches!"

So we've got a couple snake/eel things that are probably meant to be the leeches, but the centerpiece of the picture is a writhing mass of serpentine arms (and one neck). I love that for us. This is what I want from my mechanical necromancy: crimes against God. Let's play with the feature that lets us expand the image a bit...

... huh. I have nothing to add there.

Episode XXV Honorable Mention

Incomprehensible. No notes.

Episode XXVI: "Metaphor or STD?"

I don't know what this has to do with anything, but I like it. I think that means the gremlins decided to go with "metaphor". Or maybe turning into a bird is an STD.

Episode XXVII: "Period Pains"

I think this one was too mundane to get good results. This is the strangest, and that's just because the person on the right seems a bit odd.

Episode XXVIII: "I Was A Bat Once"

This is pretty representative of all the results I got for both prompts. A cartoon bat and some attempts at writing. I think this is the best one, though -- the words are mostly... words, which is better than the gremlins usually do. I like that it ends with "Any bat."

Episode XXIX: "Gawain Gets Fleshed Out"

Yes. This is what I'm here for. We have a person of indeterminate gender who appears to be wearing nothing but a crown and a sheet, kneeling to be knighted by an excellently weird-looking creature holding something that could almost plausibly pass for a sword. In the background, city walls and a pyramid. Red earth, black sky. It's inspiring.

Episode XXIX Honorable Mention

Elderly Man Greets St. Dogmonster.

Episode XXX: "Diplomacy Through Melodrama"

I think the problem here is that the gremlins understood the assignment too well. They figured out that "diplomacy" can be "people talking to each other in fancy clothes" and then just tried to make it dramatic (a couple were actually on a stage). This was the best, but that's not saying a lot.


More to come, I suppose.

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