Thoughts on DALL•E 2 #2
Dall•E 2 understands different art styles. When given this prompt:
An oil painting of a rubber duck wearing medieval robe by Van Gogh
It surprised me with this:
It even gave these ducks a little toy rubber duck of their own which I thought was a nice touch. I really loved the second image. My only peeve with it was that it was a little too ‘tight’ and cropped the headgear. Fortunately, Dall•E also allows ‘inpainting’. You can erase parts of an image and ask it to fill the missing bits in. I shrunk the original a little and asked Dall•E to generate the rest. The results were more satisfactory:
I tested the same prompt but changed the name of the artists.
M.F. Hussain gave these:
and Dali these:
Vermeer is another of my favourite painters, so naturally my next few prompts asked Dall•E to re-imagine his “A girl with a pearl earring” - but with a raccoon.
“A racoon with a pearl earring” by Johannes Vermeer
I guess “with a pearl earring” doesn’t necessarily say that the pearl earring goes in the ear1. Only one of the four variants made the connection. I tweaked the prompt and tried to be really explicit about the positioning of the earring but was only partially successful.
A racoon wearing a pearl earring in its ear by Johannes Vermeer
All that playing with raccoons got me thinking of Rocky Raccoon from the epoynomous The Beatles song. Depiction of violence is strictly forbidden by Dall•E so prompting literally from the lyrics of the song:
Checked into his room
Only to find Gideon’s Bible
Rocky had come equipped with a gun
To shoot off the legs of his rival
Merely got me a warning about the request not following Dall•E’s content policy.
I tried some creative prompt writing to try and coax Dall•E to render the scene from the song:
A raccoon with a book in one hand and a blunderbuss in its other hand by Johannes Vermeer
A raccoon with a book in one hand and a pistol in its other hand by Johannes Vermeer
I got pictures of raccoons with misshapen, incipient gun-like objects that vaguely held capacity for violence, but nothing even close to what Lennon-McCartney intended in their lyrics.
Given the tremendous potential for abuse for generative AI I can see why Open AI (the organisation behind Dall•E) would be extremely cautious about what they allow on their platform. I don’t think this achieves much. All it does is ensure that they don’t have a public relations problem on their hands. Real world depictions of these subjects aren’t going away (is Tarantino going to work on another film?) and now that the generative AI cat is out of the bag, there’ll be other models with no qualms about depiction of violence or religion or some heady mix of other taboo subjects.
Reminded me of this “exact instructions challenge” video: ↩︎