I gave the prompt to imagine “AI in the style of Jenny Saville” and it returned a dystopic gendered borg which I know is not helpful in showing a positive future of AI/human symbiosis but interesting more in a critique of AI generated figure paintings.
The generated images are definitely painterly with energized brush strokes and have a range of values found generally in figurative representation in oil. The images do still have that not uncommon look of an AI tool creating morphing surrealism, so the results that I saw still identify as images generated from an AI tool, rather than the palimpsest effect of differing poses over time seen in some of Saville’s work. But more interestingly, and besides the body being inherently political, I feel like there is an echo of the subject matter of Saville’s work that includes issues of the depiction of women in art, as well as violence and trauma which, if Midjourney actually has intent, gives these images some meaning in attempting to address an issue, even if still derivative.
As for the level of originality in the production of images from the /imagine prompt, does Midjourney portray AI in a similar way each time? I can see a similarity in images from a prompt I gave and, for example, in a Melodysheep video that dropped a few days ago that used Midjourney. At 2 minutes 23 seconds in ( https://youtu.be/ViGcwiW7rfY?t=143 ) where AI is similar in an anthropomorphized 3/4 view portrait, in AI aqua adjacent hues, side-lit with somewhat asymmetric eyes and morphing around the zygomatic process/temporal area (around the ear). You can compare the video still with the results I generated from the /imagine prompt with the word “AI.” To me, the faces on the left, generated by my prompt, look very much like the face on the right, found in the Melodysheep video.
With the need for AI being transparent in how it makes its decisions, it would be useful for a view of the initial data somewhere that Midjourney learned from and then a log of the decisions made to arrive at these final images. In these particular images imagined, did Midjourney associate AI with a depiction of a woman rather than a man or, in the case of the Saville prompt, did it take its data from the artist’s work which is mostly images of women?
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