AI Art Adventures

So after having compared Dall-E and Midjourney, Dall-E is easier to use by far and can generally kind of follow the prompts you give it. The art style is definitely simpler/less artistic. I guess it pulls from a different database to build its images.

You also definitely need some sort of photo editor to finish out the images (I don’t have one and couldn’t figure out Photopea,) but the bots are definitely getting smart enough to get you within 80-95% of what you were actually imagining.

Dall-E: “white silhouette on black background, skull with lightning bolt in teeth, smooth, 4K, by artgerm” (best two out of four, none of which were horrible)

Neither of these include a lightning bolt where it was actually wanted, but these are pretty darned close and of just about the appropriate quality. I wanted something that I could plausibly print on a patch for my jacket. (cough.) The upgrade function on this program isn’t great, though, as subsequent variations got worse and worse instead of better.

Dall-E also has a partial edit function which allows you–if you phrase things carefully enough and the bot already has a clear idea of what the image contains–to expand and alter your image. So I could complete that one skull.

And with quite a bit of work a few weeks ago, I also managed to produce:

Midjourney, on the other hand, is a royal PITA to use if a) you don’t know how to use Discord, b) you don’t pay for the subscription allowing you to direct-message the bot. It does much better with the more artistic type digital art renders, but when I fed the same exact skull/lightning prompt to it this morning, I got these:

Now, yes, 2 and 3 aren’t bad and can be worked on, but neither of those are going on a morale patch any time soon.

On the other hand, though, “pencil sketch, knight in plate armor and long cloak holding a sword overhead, ultra detailed, realistic”

The best of Dall-E’s four variants is on the right. The best of Midjourney’s is on the left, and isn’t it just kind of awesome??

Anyhow, speaking of 85%:

Way Cool News: Fires at Rising Star

Researchers reveal that Homo naledi probably made and used fire.

Homo naledi are the ones that were discovered in an extremely-difficult-to-get-to cave system in Africa….how difficult? The original team was made of petite women selected on basis of size and caving ability, since they needed to be able to squeeze through a seven-inch-wide gap and climb over and down cave features such as The Dragon’s Back. Head archaeologist Lee Berger needed to lose fifty pounds to be able to get in there himself. And, as seen in the diagram below….there was at least one significant hangup for Prof. Berger in 2014.

Last August, Berger climbed down a narrow shaft and examined two underground chambers where H. naledi fossils had been found. He noticed stalactites and thin rock sheets that had partly grown over older ceiling surfaces. Those surfaces displayed blackened, burned areas and were also dotted by what appeared to be soot particles, Berger said.

Meanwhile, expedition codirector and Wits paleoanthropologist Keneiloe Molopyane led excavations of a nearby cave chamber. There, the researchers uncovered two small fireplaces containing charred bits of wood, and burned bones of antelopes and other animals. Remains of a fireplace and nearby burned animal bones were then discovered in a more remote cave chamber where H. naledi fossils have been found, Berger said.

Isn’t that just Way Cool?

Berger has hinted that there are even more groundshaking announcements to be made, and I’m all in for it.

[Even though I thought The Science Was Settled, TM, but w/e.]