AI image and text generators have improved exponentially in the last few months, with jaw-dropping results. Even experts are shocked.
Everything from “Star Wars directed by Hayao Miyazaki” to “Mona Lisa at the supermarket checkout” now lives on the internet. What’s somewhat scarier is many of these images appear to be convincing large numbers of users that they’re real, with unsettling implications for a world based on mutually agreed-upon facts.
Here’s a shortlist of the most insane things we’ve found, from pining love poems to Gaudíesque architecture that’s pretty dang realistic.
Photographer Mathieu Stern has used AI tools like Midjourney to imagine film cameras in 18th century China and the Star Wars Universe. “Where are these cameras now?” asked one user, apparently thinking that photography existed in the 1700s.
“As a competitive swimmer and the son of Indian immigrants who own a restaurant in Newton, Massachusetts, my background and interests make me a unique and valuable addition to any college campus,” reads the opener to an essay featured in Forbes. Given a simple prompt and a word count, the AI tool ChatGPT wrote an admissions essay that might actually land an acceptance letter at an accredited, degree-granting institution.
Another Midjourney creation by Stern: a series of frogs with a medieval realm to protect. “I would have thought these were real photos of miniatures if you didn't say anything!” one user commented.
“Please write an anti love poem that’s actually a love poem in disguise,” one Instagram user asked ChatGPT.
“In your embrace, I feel suffocated // Trapped in a love that feels overrated,” began the poem, revealing a more nuanced understanding of human emotion than of poetic meter.
Antoni Gaudí never finished La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona’s Modernist Gothic basilica. Nor did he create these buildings—artificial intelligence trained on the work of the Catalan architect did. The organic, futuristic-yet-vaguely-prehistoric forms seem ready-made for AI, just as Gaudí’s immediately recognizable style seemed to anticipate the “uncanny valley” itself. Of course, it’s possible that this is just the way the universe eats itself, so let’s just be thankful that buildings don’t have hands and feet.