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πŸ”  πŸ’€  πŸ“Έ  😭  πŸ•³οΈ  🀠  🎬  πŸ₯” posts about recursion

AI Image Feedback Loop

Data artist Robert Hodgin recently created a feedback loop between Midjourney and ChatGPT-4 β€” he prompted MJ to create an image of an old man in a messy room wearing a VR headset, asked ChatGPT to describe the image, then fed that description back into MJ to generate another image, and did that 10 times. Here was the first image:

AI-generated image of an old man in a messy room wearing a VR headset

And here’s one of the last images:

AI-generated image of an old man in a cloudy room wearing a VR headset

Recursive art like this has a long history β€” see Alvin Lucier’s I Am Sitting in a Room from 1969 β€” but Hodgin’s project also hints at the challenges facing AI companies seeking to keep their training data free of material created by AI. Ted Chiang has encouraged us to “think of ChatGPT as a blurry jpeg of all the text on the Web”:

It retains much of the information on the Web, in the same way that a jpeg retains much of the information of a higher-resolution image, but, if you’re looking for an exact sequence of bits, you won’t find it; all you will ever get is an approximation. But, because the approximation is presented in the form of grammatical text, which ChatGPT excels at creating, it’s usually acceptable. You’re still looking at a blurry jpeg, but the blurriness occurs in a way that doesn’t make the picture as a whole look less sharp.

And we already know what you get if you recursively save JPEGs

See also La Demoiselle d’Instagram, I Am Sitting in a Room (with a video camera), Google Image Search Recursion, and Dueling Carls.

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Google Image Search Recursion

This is mesmerizing: using Google Image Search and starting with a transparent image, this video cycles through each subsequent related image, over 2900 in all.

(via β˜…mattb)

I Am Sitting in a Room

I Am Sitting in a Room is a piece by composer Alvin Lucier. It consists of an audio recording of Lucier sitting in a room reciting a few lines. That recording is played in the same room and recorded. Then that recording is recorded. And so on.

I am sitting in a room different from the one you are in now. I am recording the sound of my speaking voice and I am going to play it back into the room again and again until the resonant frequencies of the room reinforce themselves so that any semblance of my speech, with perhaps the exception of rhythm, is destroyed. What you will hear, then, are the natural resonant frequencies of the room articulated by speech. I regard this activity not so much as a demonstration of a physical fact, but more as a way to smooth out any irregularities my speech might have.

Here’s a recording of the original performance:

Listening to it, I wonder how much of the distortion at the end is due to the “resonant frequencies of the room” and how much is just artifacts of the rerecording process. (via djacobs)

Upgrade: It’s the Larsen effect in action.

The frequency of the resulting sound is determined by resonant frequencies in the microphone, amplifier, and loudspeaker, the acoustics of the room, the directional pick-up and emission patterns of the microphone and loudspeaker, and the distance between them.

(thx, eric)

Fun recursive graphic on the front of

Fun recursive graphic on the front of the Weekend Arts section of the NY Times today.

Update: Here’s an article about the artist of the recursive piece, Serkan Ozkaya, which includes a video about how he made it. And here’s a PDF of the page. (thx, david)

Update: The LA Times did something similar back in 1997.

Fascinating thoughts on the future of science

Fascinating thoughts on the future of science by Kevin Kelly. The sequence of recursive devices and triple blind experiments (“no one, not the subjects or the experimenters, will realize an experiment was going on until later”) were especially interesting.