One of the fun new frontiers in artificial intelligence is computer-generated illustration. The concept is simple: Users provide a descriptive prompt for the AI, which then consults its large database of historical imagery and produces a brand-new piece of artwork. For example, here is President Barack Obama holding a lightsaber:

Take that, Mount Rushmore (DALL-E Mini)

As you can see, the results here are…mixed. That’s because I was using DALL-E Mini, a sort of junior version of the real thing. (The name is a play on Pixar’s robot WALL-E and the Spanish artist Salvador Dalí.) The most advanced editions of this technology are not yet publicly available to consumers. To gain access to the real DALL-E or fellow travelers like Midjourney, you need to sign up and wait your turn. But more stripped-down versions of these cutting-edge creation tools are starting to roll out online for everyone, which means that anyone can employ a robo-illustrator to sketch whatever bizarre idea pops into their head.

In my case, I created a monster.

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