There was a moment at 12.30 last night when I was throwing up into a bucket that I thought this might be the week I miss my blog. Week 140 would be the moment when I had to stop because I actually couldn’t do it. I was throwing up in a bucket because I finally caught whatever the kids have had for the last few weeks.

It started with Alice, having to have the last week of Kinda off with a horrendous cough, then we got a call Wednesday that Frank had vomited in class because he was coughing so much. As Alice started to pick up and went back to daycare, Frank was now home coughing over everyone. It's only a matter of time before the parents get it.

It’s a horrible sickness cycle that probably lasts for 3-4 weeks. Kids get sick, recover, then Adults get sick. Unfortunately for me the worst of the fever and vomiting came last night while I had Alice at Swimming Lessons. I’m not sure how much you know about kids swimming lessons but the place that our kids go is my most hated place on earth. For some reason it reminds me of an abattoir. It is a series of small pools (pens) that have screaming children thrashing about in them. It's so noisy and humid that even on a good day I find it incredibly overwhelming.

Needless to say last night was my worst nightmare come true and it was the start of a 6 hour spew session. I’m feeling better now though. Not great but not being sick either, so better. 

There is this overwhelming guilt that comes with this level of sickness - if I felt this bad, did the kids feel this bad as well? We’ve spent the last few weeks basically forcing them back to school and Kinda when they probably weren’t 100% because we needed to go to work. It breaks my heart to think they felt this miserable and we just jack them up on panadol and send them on their way! I can’t dwell on it too much but it does make me pine for a time when we’ll have sick leave.

What I was going to talk about this week was the fun I’ve had with DALL.E 2 - the AI system that creates realistic images and art from a descriptions. This has been quite controversial among the creative community as AI starts to create work that would have traditionally been created by an illustrator or artist. The most public display of this new technology was the Cosmopolitan Cover for the AI Issue in June this year.

I wanted to test out how practical it was and would it really be able to replace illustrators for example on a commercial job. Coincidentally I have been working with an Illustrator Chris Drane on some artwork for a series of workbooks. I wanted to see if the AI could replicate his style.

Chris’s original is on the left and without any instruction, the AI came up with these weird versions - none of which could be used in a commercial setting. I appreciate I only have a small sample size but I think the commercial illustrators would not get replaced by AI. Not yet anyway. 

I think that giving instruction to the AI is almost more important than the outcome. I set myself a little project to do my 40th birthday invitation using AI. I’m having a picnic at Hanging Rock and wanted something to represent the event.

First I tried the instruction ‘an oil painting by bob ross of a picnic at hanging rock’. 

The outcome is actually pretty good. It certainly looks “Bob Ross” like and I was surprised at the AI’s interpretation of Hanging Rock - there are rocks that kind of look like the above. Kind of. 

Once you like an image you can get a variation of it, like so

Again the original is on the left and the variations are on the right. These are looking pretty neat but I wanted a bit more of a party vibe so I tried ‘lots of people having a fun picnic in the style of Picasso’.

This is wild - but not exactly what I was looking for, and we’ve lost the hanging rocks which I quite liked so I tried ‘Picasso painting of lots of people having a picnic at hanging rock’.

I tried some variations of these which were quite nice but I kind of liked the weirdness of the second one above.

 So after much playing I landed on this image for my birthday invitation.

Such a strange and wonderful image. I don’t think the illustrators and artists are in any immediate danger of losing their jobs to AI. This is a really fun tool and would be great for prototyping but I doubt that it would replace the human hand and mind when it comes to creativity. Not yet anyway.

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