How well does it work? It’s okay I think. I’m still learning to craft the prompts for best results, but the biggest problem is that they’re unscientific. If you need a picture of a SLS, it should be the actual SLS and not some kind of Art Deco version of a rocket that looks like it was designed in the 1950s. It’s nice, but I can’t use it.
I’ve been able to create an image of a meteor resting on the ocean floor for a recent story, and I’ve tried a few other illustrations. It can work with stories with abstract concepts where there is no current image that we can use.
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OK, OK, but what about non-scientific images? Fun pictures. This is required. I’ve been using AI to create pictures of the Ars Magica game I’m playing with my son and his friends.
I asked Midjourney AI to imagine the solar system but in the form of food. In each case, the AI was given a guide to the planet made of food. So, “Jupiter is made of a sandwich” or “Neptune is made of a bowl of berries.” You can see the results below.
This was challenging, and it took a lot of attempts to create foods that are round and might also look like Mercury. I’ve tried pizza and soups, but this one finally got the metallic blue sheen of Mercury as seen from MESSENGER.
In our telescopes, Venus is a featureless yellow ball, which looked like some kind of nut soup to me. I’ve tried a few variations, and nothing clicked, but I think this has more to do with the boring look of the flower than the ideas the AI came up with. I chose something with more dramatic vortices in the clouds, although less scientifically accurate.
Accurate hit of the target. It’s not cake and it’s not Mars. But it’s a cake that makes you think of Mars. Loved this and how delicious it looks.
Another great display of AI, in my opinion. It’s clearly a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs, but the pasta is arranged in a circular pattern that evokes the planet Saturn.
This looks delicious. Blueberry ice cream with blueberry garnish. I can only imagine its taste. The show is great. I like the way the AI fell on the bottom left corner. Kind of proof of her inspiration?
This is just a small part of a much longer thread on Twitter where I’ve been getting photo requests. If you have some ideas, just post a comment in the thread, and I’ll see what I and the AI can do.A few people have pointed me toward a certain spoof chorizo version of Alpha Centauri captured by James Webb, and I promise it was a complete coincidence that Etienne had brain astronomy food.
You’ll likely see more images from AI here on Universe Today, but I promise we’ll reveal the source clearly as an artist sketch by AI in the image caption. I know there’s a huge debate to be had about artist illustrations versus actual images, versus graphics, versus human-made art, versus AI art.
For now, I think the best place to start is the silliness.