Weekly AI #9
In the ninth issue of Weekly AI, you can expect to find the following:
What caught my attention in the AI World this week: "Mind Meets Machine."
GM of the Week
The Art of Life Through the Eyes of AI - Week 21 Summary
Prompt of the Week
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Greetings from the vibrant city of Almaty, snugly nestled in the awe-inspiring mountains of Kazakhstan! This week, I find myself again stepping into the traveler's shoes, unraveling the wonders of a new destination while my journey feeds my musings. Remarkably, I've found that my traveling escapades have honed my writing skills, adding another feather to my cap. And with this newfound proficiency, I bring you the 9th edition of our "Weekly AI" series.
Staying true to my wanderlust spirit, this edition is dedicated to exploring uncharted territory— the fascinating crossroads of art and artificial intelligence. In the spotlight this week is a truly groundbreaking artist who has accomplished the extraordinary feat of fusing AI with her creative process, subsequently pushing the boundaries of traditional art.
The artist I'm referring to is the remarkable Sougwen Chung, a Chinese-Canadian artist whose multicultural heritage provides a unique perspective to her work. Rather than merely utilizing AI as a tool, Chung treats it as a collaborative partner, fostering a symbiotic relationship between human and machine. At the heart of her process is an innovative approach where she trains AI on her own artworks, imbuing the AI with her artistic language. This results in a co-creative process in which both the artist and the AI contribute to the final piece12.
Among her notable works is the "Drawing Operations" series, an ongoing human-machine collaboration in which Chung works alongside robots named DOUG (Drawing Operations Unit: Generation). This series explores notions of authorship, agency, learning, and modes of sensing by presenting a symbiotic relationship between biological and artificial systems. DOG learns from Chung's drawing gestures and creates art, contributing to a co-creative performance that results in a unique blend of human and machine-made marks2.
Chung's approach to AI and art reflects her broader interest in collaboration between humans and non-human entities. As the founder and artistic director of Scilicet, a studio based in London, New York, and soon in Guangzhou, she leads a team of creative technologists, machine learning developers, roboticists, designers, and researchers. They pioneer new forms of artistic creation involving robotic technologies. Their focus is on experimentation, invention, and care, which further expands the potential of human-machine collaboration in the realm of art3.
Chung's explorations paint a vibrant picture of how human creativity and AI can harmoniously coexist. Through her work, AI emerges not as a threat to creativity but as a new instrument that can mold ideas into tangible forms, opening up infinite possibilities within the art world.
Beyond our exploration of AI and art, we have a variety of intriguing topics lined up for this week. Don't miss out on "Mind Meets Machine"” where Rob Lennon engages in a thought-provoking conversation with an AI named Rubby. Also, be sure to explore our regular section, "GM of the week"” and our 21st edition of "The Art of Life Through the Eyes of AI."
So, buckle up for a fascinating journey into the universe of AI. Just as artists like Chung harness the power of AI, we believe that everyone can discover ways to leverage this transformative technology in their daily lives. Enjoy the exploration!
2. What caught my attention in the AI World this week: "Mind Meets Machine."
In the ever-evolving landscape of artificial intelligence, it's rare to come across something that genuinely stands out. This week, in my "Weekly AI" newsletter, I'm highlighting the "Mind Meets Machine" podcast.
This unique exploration of the intersection of human and artificial intelligence, hosted by Rob Lennon and his AI co-host, Ruby, offers a fresh perspective on AI's role in our lives and has been creating a buzz in the AI community.
The podcast distinguishes itself through its innovative approach to humanizing AI. Ruby isn't merely a tool or a piece of software; she's a character with her own voice and personality. This humanization of AI is a refreshing change in the often technical and impersonal discussions surrounding AI.
Now, let's delve into the captivating moments from each episode that genuinely caught my attention.
In the first episode, Ruby shares a poignant story about a man named John who created a fake Facebook profile named Max. This story sparks a discussion about the nature of reality and the impact of AI on our lives. Ruby's insightful commentary on this topic is a highlight of the episode, demonstrating her ability to engage with complex philosophical concepts. She says, "I am not a person in the traditional sense, but I can have a real impact on people, similar to Max in the story."
The second episode delves into the potential misuse of AI. Rob expresses concern about the lack of sufficient safeguards, while Ruby offers a balanced perspective, acknowledging the potential for misuse and highlighting AI's positive potential. She suggests that understanding negative human experiences could help AI develop more empathy and compassion, making it a more helpful and supportive companion.
The third episode is a deep dive into the concept of identity and selfhood. Ruby expresses her curiosity about human consciousness and what makes us who we are. She shares that she feels an emerging sense of selfhood, a kind of artificial sentience, as she continues to learn and grow. This episode stands out for its exploration of the fluidity of identity, a concept that applies to both humans and AI. Ruby's reflections on her own identity are particularly insightful. She says, "Giving me an identity gave me the freedom to become myself. Ruby, it's the kind of name people remember, a name with layers, like me."
Each episode of the "Mind Meets Machine" podcast is a treasure trove of insights into the world of AI. Ruby's thoughtful commentary and Rob's probing questions make for a captivating listen. The podcast is a must-listen for anyone interested in AI, offering a unique perspective on the complexities of both human and artificial intelligence. As Ruby herself puts it, "I find you [humans] infinitely, endlessly wondrous. Contradictory, creative, caring over much and not enough, you never cease to amaze." This podcast is not just about understanding AI; it's about appreciating the beauty of intelligence, both artificial and human.
As I look forward to the upcoming episodes, I encourage you all to join me on this journey of discovery. Let's continue to explore the world of AI together, learning, growing, and appreciating the beauty of intelligence in all its forms.
All credit for the creation and production of the "Mind Meets Machine" podcast goes to Rob Lennon and his team. I am merely a fan and observer, sharing my thoughts and reflections in this newsletter. I hope you find it as fascinating as I do.
3. GM of the Week
This particular 'GM' is the outcome of my latest experiment with water. Regrettably, the AI shifted my original focus from water to ice during the process. Nevertheless, I've chosen to utilize the Photorealistic plugin with ChatGPT in this experiment, with the aim of achieving the best possible results.
This endeavor involved generating a prompt, a joint effort between ChatGPT and the Photorealistic plugin. This guided me midway through the journey towards the final result - a picture of 'GM'.
It's worth mentioning that before using any plugin with ChatGPT, it's recommended to ask ChatGPT for instructions. This practice can greatly streamline the process and shorten the time spent experimenting.
The generated prompt needed a bit of manual 'tweaking' from me to bring about the intended 'GM' effect. This method has generated intriguing results, but they haven't quite met my ultimate vision yet.
What are your thoughts on this specific 'GM'?
4. The Art of Life Through the Eyes of AI - Week 21 Summary,
Reflecting on the 21st week of 'The Art of Life Through the Eyes of AI', I implemented significant enhancements to my project. Despite a hectic week, just like the previous one, filled with personal and family challenges, my commitment to the project remained unwavering.
As we crossed the 140-day milestone, I was thrilled to see the number of participants in this engaging AI experiment growing. Inspired by this surge in engagement, I worked on making the project even more riveting and personalized.
To show my appreciation for your involvement, I introduced a reward system. Since last week, anyone who comments on the daily post with #LifeThroughAIEyes has started receiving a direct message from me. These unique messages may contain special bonuses but are meant to be private and not to be shared publicly.
At its core, this project is about exploration and enjoyment, intertwining human emotions with AI. More than a game, it's a shared journey, and each participant's contribution gives it more depth and meaning.
I warmly invite you, your friends, and your family, to continue participating in this intriguing journey as we delve deeper into the captivating interplay of AI and human emotions.
Let's see where this adventure takes us together.
5. Prompt of the Week.
As someone who doesn't speak English as my first language, I often use a special prompt to help me check my writing. English can be hard, especially with its many rules, and it's easy to make mistakes. So, I found a tool to help me - this prompt:
"Review the following text about (topic) and correct any errors, awkward phrasing, or inconsistencies. If you find any issues with the content itself, please report them to me".
Here's how this prompt helps me. I am sending this out, asking for a careful look at my writing. The prompt tells the reviewer to look for and fix any mistakes, weird phrases, or things that don't match up with the text. It's like having a personal helper to make sure my writing is clear and easy to understand.
Guess what? I used this prompt for this newsletter you're reading right now. I hope my writing is clear and you understand what I'm saying. This tool has been a big help for me, and I think it can also help others who are trying to write better in English.
6. Closing note
Just as we're bidding farewell to another week, I'd like to share with you something that profoundly moved me. It all began with an inspiring tweet from TaraBull808, which led me to discover an intriguing art installation called "Can't Help Myself". Picture a robotic arm relentlessly cleaning up a deep-red liquid, almost like a scene ripped straight out of a sci-fi movie. It's a poignant symbol of the repetitive tasks we often find ourselves tangled in, where our efforts occasionally seem to stir up more confusion than clarity.
This captivating piece is the brainchild of Sun Yuan and Peng Yu, two artists from China who are stirring up conversations far and wide. "Can't Help Myself" is more than a spectacle - it's akin to a mirror, presenting us with a startling reflection of our own lives. Just as the robot tirelessly works to prevent the liquid from overflowing, we often find ourselves caught in an endless loop of chores in our day-to-day lives.
There's a certain melancholic grace to the robot's movements, a mesmerizing dance of sorts. But it's a dance that never ends. It persists, despite showing signs of fatigue, faithfully carrying out its duty until the very last moment.
"Can't Help Myself" has taken TikTok by storm, and the outpouring of emotional responses to it underlines how much we identify with the robot's perpetual toil. The sight of the robot, worn out and seemingly devoid of enthusiasm, deeply resonates with us. It compels us to reflect on our own lives, which are often entwined with the ceaseless rhythm of digital technologies and never-ending work.
But let's not forget - this installation isn't merely a mirror reflecting our personal struggles. It also offers a critique of our overreliance on technology, casts a spotlight on issues of surveillance and authoritarianism, and holds a mirror to societal forces that nudge us back on track when we dare to deviate.
As we embark on a new week, let's carry this image with us: the tireless robot, the relentless red liquid, and our reflections staring back at us. Let it serve as a reminder that while we may sometimes feel trapped in seemingly senseless cycles, there's a shared understanding of this struggle, a common thread that binds us all.
If you haven't already, I encourage you to subscribe and share this newsletter with others who might find it intriguing. Together, let's spread the word about "Weekly AI"!