Avatar Puffins?

For this year’s traditional “Puffins?” Day post, I wanted to bring you a picture of a puffin surrounded by baked beans, because puffins are now a Beans tradition.

Turning to our benign computer overlords, I asked several AI image generators to give me a picture of “a puffin surrounded by baked beans”.

This one is very stylish, but the beans are not what I wanted. Try again.

I appreciate the photo realism, but we’re still having difficulty with the beans. Try again.

Ah, yes, I see. Those are beans and they might have been baked, but they’re not what I meant when I asked for baked beans. I wanted the dish called baked beans, not merely some oven-heated legumes. Try again.

Wait. This time I’ll ask for “a puffin surrounded by baked beans in tomato sauce”.

It took me a moment to realise what had happened. The AI has now given me the beans I desired, but it has also imagined what a puffin would look like if you cooked it and then served fillets of puffin in a bowl of beans.

I’m not trying again because this is getting too disturbing. So much for AI. And so much for “Puffins?” Day 2023.

10 comments on “Puffins?

  • Puffins might be the most simple concept there is. I remember learning about them as a child. Baked beans were also introduced very early in my education, certainly before any sort of maths or physics were explained to me. And yet somehow they are beyond these so-called clever machines.

    I don’t know about you, but I feel tremendously smug.

  • I’m clocked to the brim with smug. It’s seeping out of the side of my smug smile. I’ve stuffing it down into my trousers pockets because there’s nowhere else for it to go.

    I don’t want to be this way, Chris. Do something!

  • I think the best thing to do is get that Specsavers poster in here. Smug spectacle man’s innate smugness will soon make us feel normal again.

  • Good idea. Nothing quite competes with his smugness so even if we’re still stocked to the gills then we’ve got nothing on him and any hatred will hone in on him.

  • I wonder if we can get an AI image generator to come up with more Specsavers smug men. There was only ever one, but imagine a world with dozens of them, all leering at you with their self-satisfied grins.

  • I can’t, Chris. One was bad enough but to go through life knowing there were more… I can’t do it. We have to destroy all AI before someone feeds the suggestion through the mangle hatch or whatever you do to get AI to go things for you.

  • Yeah, the mangle hatch.

    It’s too late to destroy AI. AI has already thought of that, and if you try to stop it, it’ll find a way to suck you in through the mangle hatch.

  • No, definitely too late. I think the best thing you can do is set to work inventing an anti-mangle hatch, which you can then use to neutralise the mangle hatch when you destroy AI.

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