Open AI, Algorithms and Art

Dalle-E Collection

I had forgotten I had signed up for an account with the DALL-E art site, which has gotten a fair share of notice for how it uses AI software to create art from written prompts. So when I saw an email yesterday, telling me my account was now active, I went in and played around. I used music themes for all of my prompts for the AI. The more specific the writing, the more interesting the image that the AI kicks out, I found.

I decided to create a “band” of musicians, with different settings and textual descriptions. It was an interesting experiment, and I used the “variations” tab quite a bit to see what the AI might generate in a second variation but for the most part, these come from the first round of algorithmic art by the platform.

I’ve included the text I used for the AI to generate the images.

DALL·E trumpet
DALL·E saxophone
DALL·E piano
DALL·E guitar
DALL·E drummer
DALL·E bass

You get a certain number of “credits” and then it costs some money to generate art.

Overall, I found the experience rather interesting, and yet I wondered how the AI was using my text descriptions to make itself “smarter” and was curious about what was going on underneath all of the code. There is a research paper available and the “about page” is full of positive elements of AI and the DALL-E site. It acknowledges the worries about AI, too, which I appreciated.

From the site:

Preventing Harmful Generations

We’ve limited the ability for DALL·E 2 to generate violent, hate, or adult images. By removing the most explicit content from the training data, we minimized DALL·E 2’s exposure to these concepts. We also used advanced techniques to prevent photorealistic generations of real individuals’ faces, including those of public figures.

Curbing Misuse

Our content policy does not allow users to generate violent, adult, or political content, among other categories. We won’t generate images if our filters identify text prompts and image uploads that may violate our policies. We also have automated and human monitoring systems to guard against misuse.


I am also curious about this part of the Mission Statement:

Our hope is that DALL·E 2 will empower people to express themselves creatively. DALL·E 2 also helps us understand how advanced AI systems see and understand our world, which is critical to our mission of creating AI that benefits humanity.

Let’s hope so, eh?

Peace (and Art),

DALL·E music note

Ten Steps: Sidewalk

This is the final individual video for my Ten Steps project, in which I have been creating one-minute videos, of ten steps, in different terrains. This playlist has all 12 videos, but I am also working on another way to present all of the videos together ….

Peace (stepping out),

Noticing A Moment

Box fan
Box fan flickr photo by elfsternberg shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

Over at NWPStudio, Tanya posted a writing prompt about noticing a single moment. Sort of like what we used to call “small stories” or even “Slice of Life” and I looked up from the prompt to notice this scene:

The box fan has a rhythm of its own. White noise, with patterned waves. It’s the panting of the dog sprawled out on the wood floor in front of the machine that gives the beat a hiccup. An irregular breath. A movement of body. A sigh. An ear shake. The fan continues on — it only knows to spin its forward motion — but the room’s soundtrack is unpredictable, as the dog takes another short solo, then fades into a sleepy background.

Peace (and sound),

Ten Steps: Beach Edge

This video (the 11th) is part of a series of one-minute videos featuring ten steps in different places. The last few have been from last week’s vacation to Maine, giving the videos an ocean theme. I have one more video to go before I pull them all together.  Watch the others here.

Peace (stepping out),

Poetry: Fragile Earth

fragile earth
fragile earth flickr photo by duluoz cats shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

This is part of a summer-long endeavor to write longer poems and spend more time with revision. The prompts have come through the National Writing Project network.

Fragile Earth

Where is the line of wonder
for those of us whose lives
tumble beneath the weight
of a fractured world?

Thunder beckons
this night, a flashing storm
of zig-zag jagged light,
a dangerous reckoning,
beautiful, eerily bright

and safe in this house,
we huddle to see
a generational tree,
born before collective
generational memory

its branches broken:
splintered into unrecognizable
splintered beyond belief
splintered as shadow, in relief

Change forces us
to reconsider:

Are we
the home
built upon
the dirt?

Or, are we
the roots
in a fragile

Peace (and dirt),