Today's "project" is going to be a short essay written rapidly in just 20 minutes.
I'm deviating from the usual programming to write because I've started feeling a sense of dread in the morning. These projects are made in the mornings before anyone at home is awake. I sit alone and code something for fun. For fun. It should be fun, but it's less and less so. I think part of the reason is I joined the Genuary 2023 challenge, which provides prompts to create generative art from (like I'm basically a lousier version of DALL-E or ChatGPT). The community of generative artists I've found on instagram through Genuary is good, but mostly I compare the shit I'm creating to theirs and feel like shit. I feel this way even though I know the reason they're better is because they've spent more time than I have practising the craft of creative coding.
Anyway, I'm not lamenting the fact that I get to do this, or the fact that any of my feelings in this area is of particular importance, even to me. I'm merely alluding to the next thing...
Speaking of wild, I found out that at the very bottom of the OpenAI website lies a footer and somewhere in there sits a Soundcloud logo. I clicked on it. OpenAI has a Soundcloud account with music soundtracks created by one of their AI prototypes. Some of them, like this one entitled Pop, in the style of Katy Perry - Jukebox is pretty darn good, especially when you think about the fact that it wasn't created by a person but by a machine.
So it seems that if we avoid learning about applying AI (not researching or creating models, but using them), we would be doing ourselves a disservice because of two things:
- It can be tremendously helpful to us, at work and in our personal lives. (At work, I've already used GitHub Copilot for many months, and I can attest to its uncanny ability to know what I want to code, and sometimes it does a better job than I do at writing compilable code.)
- Now that things like Large Language Models are here, they are NOT going away.
(Mostly a note to myself there.)
Back to the topic of having fun. What happens now that I'm not having that much fun waking up to do this? Old me for sure will be jumping to the conclusion that this creative coding/generative art thing is just not for me and I'd shelve my laptop and never come back to this kind of thing again until I've forgotten that I've done this kind of thing before and at that point I will try again and history repeats itself.
There are things that I don't like and there are things I do still find fun and like to do. First thing is to separate those.
- Creating a body of work that is a mish-mesh of all kinds of shit. (This is an essay, and it's deployed on the web, so it's kind of considered a web project and thus it fits into the Everydays project?)
- Coding to a prompt, especially when my overall skills and comprehension of the math behind shapes and drawing shit on a webpage are still rudimentary compared to the sophistication of my adult brain and its interpretation of the prompt.