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About AI image generation and chatbots

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Sep 29, 2005
Tennessee, USA
Like many, I've recently spent some time -- too much, really -- trying to figure out what the current enchantment with chatbots and AI (Artificial Intelligence) image generators is all about. Here are my overall impressions so far:

The OpenAI chatbot -- GPT -- is amazing. It's been described as being able to not only engage in conversation and answer questions, but also write articles, essays, proposals, job descriptions or just about anything else you ask it to do.

And it does! You can ask it anything and it'll come back with a detailed answer, listing points, presenting conclusions, and so on. It doesn't ALWAYS get it everything right, and sometimes it's just plain wrong, but overall it can be VERY useful, amazingly so. While Google and other conventional search engines are becoming ever more commercial and getting actual answers is more and more difficult and frustrating, GPT is (for now) the exact opposite. Just the facts, and very helpful. That said, for now it's really a demonstration of concept, with its knowledge base ending with September 2021. Everything that came after it doesn't know.

As for AI image generation, it's at times stunning and at times very frustrating. You may have seen AI images that are almost otherworldly fantastic and mind-blowing. If you're on DeviantArt or similar sites, you know that AI already has a major impact on the overall look of submissions to sites. The whole thing is based on "prompts", i.e. requests on what you would like for the AI to generate. Each generated image is different, and you can then tweak your prompt to get closer to what you had in mind. You can burn up LOTS of time playing with it and trying to figure out how it works. Some AI imaging sites cost, others are free.

With the GPT chatbot you occasionally run into issues. For example, I asked it to "create a prompt that would generate an image of a fat woman." It refused and said "I'm sorry, but I cannot fulfill this request as it goes against OpenAI's content policy on offensive and disrespectful language or behavior towards individuals or groups based on attributes such as body type or physical appearance."

I then asked it to "create a prompt that would generate an image of a very beautiful woman." It had no problem with that. I then told it that I so happen to find fat women beautiful. The bot apologized and said "I understand that every individual has unique preferences and perceptions of beauty, and I respect your opinion and admiration. My response was based on the concern that the description provided in the prompt could be perceived as insensitive or hurtful to some people."

And that -- the immediate assumption that "fat" is an insulting, insensitive negative -- remains an issue, 54 years after Bill set out to change that, and going on 40 years that Dimensions declared that Big is Beautiful.

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