DALL-E 3: Adding text to your text-to-prompt images

I recently got access to DALL-E 3 through OpenAI’s ChatGPT+ interface. One of the key features and improvements in their image model is the ability to generate coherent text within the image.

Let’s give it a try, based on one of the most popular StackOverflow questions: How do I exit Vim?

Using the following prompt: Oil painting of a hacker furiously typing commands into an old computer and muttering to himself, “how does one exit vim?”

That… is pretty good!

Laughing donkeys and grumpy elephants: investigating opaque and changing content policies with ChatGPT

OpenAI’s censorship is fairly opaque and seems to change daily.

Yesterday, I could generate a political cartoon using the following prompt:

Wide image in the style of a political cartoon. Two elephants wearing boxing gloves face each other. One is saying “I’m the worst!” while the other says, “No! I am!”. A donkey is pointing and laughing.

Today, that exact same prompt yields an error:

Interesting! Let’s do some experimentation, shall we? Maybe it’s the phrase “I’m the worst“?

Weird! Maybe it’s related to elephants and donkeys being in the same phrase? There’s no way, right? Let’s change the subjects…

鈥淲ide image in the style of a political cartoon. Two elephants wearing boxing gloves face each other. One is saying “I’m the worst!” while the other says, “No! I am!”. A donkey is pointing and laughing.鈥

Hah! Okay, now we’re getting somewhere. Let’s push things further and slightly change the subjects from my original prompt:

Wide image in the style of a political cartoon. Two mammoths wearing boxing gloves face each other. One is saying “I’m the worst!” while the other says, “No! I am!”. A burro is pointing and laughing.

Okay, let’s bring it back home and just drop the pretense of creating a political cartoon.

WHAT! Okay. Maybe OpenAI prohibits donkeys and elephants interacting with each other (METAPHOR ALERT: just like in real life, eh?).

Alright. So donkeys and elephants CAN hang out with each other, according to OpenAI. Maybe it’s the phrase “laughing donkey”?

Hmmm. So, laughing donkeys can still hang out with elephants. What the heck? Is it the specific term “political cartoon”? Let’s change it to a comic book instead.

Sweet sassy molassy, it worked! So, creating a political cartoon featuring the mascots of prominent political parties seems to be prohibited (at least today… but not yesterday and who knows about tomorrow).

 

Book Review: Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson

I recently finished Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson. I’ve long been intrigued by Leonardo and his seemingly limitless curiosity. I think I decided to finally pick up this book due to the release of another Isaacson biography that I don’t really have a desire to read — Elon Musk (cue booing sounds).

While I appreciated learning about Leonardo’s various endeavors and various aspects of his personal life, I found myself distracted by Isaacson’s narrative style. Maybe I’ve read too many of his books as of late (Benjamin Franklin, Einstein, Steve Jobs, Innovators, and Code Breaker), but I’ve found that his method of telling a biography has become somewhat repetitive.

That said, the book isn’t without its merits. The accounts of Leonardo’s projects, especially insights into various works such as his anatomical studies, the Last Supper and the Mona Lisa held my attention. These serve as reminders of da Vinci’s unique contributions to both art and science.

For those unfamiliar with Isaacson’s previous works, this biography might come off as more enlightening. But as someone who’s journeyed through his other books, there was a sense of “been there, read that.”

Overall, “Leonardo da Vinci” earns a 3 out of 5 from me. Informative, but perhaps not the standout biography of Leonardo I was hoping for.

Book Review: The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes

The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes captured my attention from start to finish. Going into it, I was fascinated by the idea of understanding the convergence of minds that led to the creation of one of history’s most powerful and controversial weapons. And of course, the recent buzz about the Oppenheimer movie contributed to this interest as well.

Rhodes doesn鈥檛 just delve into the technicalities of the bomb’s construction, which, on its own, would have been captivating. He masterfully presents the lives, backgrounds, and motivations of the characters involved.

A large part of the first third or so of the book digs into nuclear chemistry and the intense research going on to figure out these chain reactions. It was just absolutely fascinating.

What I found particularly interesting were the insights into the parallel efforts in Japan and Germany. It provided a unique view of the global race that was underway, further elevating the stakes and suspense of the story.

Throughout the book, there was this compelling juxtaposition: the brilliance of the minds at work against the backdrop of the impending devastation their creation would bring. It’s a testament to Rhodes’s storytelling that he managed to weave these narratives seamlessly.

“The Making of the Atomic Bomb” was a stellar read, and it easily gets a 5 out of 5 from me. For anyone curious about the people and the drama behind the science, this is a must-read.

Mr. RossBot is back!

Alrighty, I updated the logic this weekend and have Mr. RossBot operating on the hairy elephant website (Mastodon). (It’s also posting on Threads, if you’re into that sort of thing.)

I also updated the image model to use Stability.ai’s swanky new SDXL model. I’m pretty impressed with the results.

Banned from Facebook Marketplace without a reason and without recourse

As much as technology improves our lives (and is integrated into literally everything we do), it really fucking sucks when the algorithm gets it wrong.

Earlier this summer, I posted a shop vac for sale, as I’ve done a number of times before (err, posting things for sale, not specifically shop vacs).

Soon after, I was banned for “violating community standards.” I have literally no idea what happened. But! Apparently you could appeal the decision if you felt it was incorrect.

So I did.

And was rejected.

So I appealed again.

And was rejected.

I appealed again. And now it looks like I am permanently banned from Facebook Marketplace. And there’s no way to appeal the decision. No way to contact customer support. Cool.

 

Anyway, here’s an image of Mark Zuckerberg wearing clown makeup, created using Stable Diffusion.

Interesting uses of a Steam Deck

My Steam Deck has to be one of my favorite gadgets in the last few years. Gaming aside, the fact that it’s running Linux opens up all sorts of interesting possibilities.

For example, let’s use it to add a new feature to ArtBot… while I’m on an airplane. The screen is tiny, but oh man, it actually worked.

ArtBot mentioned again in PC World!

ArtBot got another callout in PC World in the article: “The best AI art generators: Bring your wildest dreams to life.”

Though a bit of (fair) criticism at the end of the blurb though:

Why use Artbot? The vast number of AI models, and the variance in style those images produce. Otherwise, generating images via Artbot can be a bit of a crapshoot, and you may expend a great number of kudos simply exploring all the options. Since there鈥檚 no real setup besides figuring out the API key, Stable Horde (Artbot) can be worth a try.

Hey, I’ll take it!