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For the past year (ish), no doubt you’ve been hearing the buzzword 'AI', or artificial intelligence, being thrown around like it’s the thing that will both start a new era in computing and will end civilization as we know it. Extremes and exaggerations, for sure, but an inevitability nonetheless. At least, for the time being.

So, it should come as no surprise that AI also came to snatch up our Instagram accounts. Oh, and there’s also a subreddit. Anyway, the future is here. Welcome.

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Cyber Returns
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The alternative ending to Harry Potter where Voldemort and Dumbledore settled things once and for all with a dance off

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All vague colloquialisms aside, AI… powered?—definitely not generated, though—pages are popping up online and are joining the ranks of entertainment content.

One such page is @hardaipics, an Instagram page that’s all about those “hard and sometimes cursed” AI pics. The page was created just last month, but already has a whopping 119,000 followers after only 200 posts.

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Lyop
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Hits toe on the corner of the bed: Christ on a tyrannosaurus!!

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The page also has a subreddit that serves pretty much the same purpose, but also acts as a depository of images that are later picked out and featured on the Instagram page.

And, so, speaking of the images, it’s genuinely amazing to see just how much AI has moved on in terms of visualization, but it’s even more so amazing to think that there is a dedicated community of netizens who regularly sit down and come up with the most ludicrous prompts to feed into the machine.

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Now, you wouldn’t be wrong to think that if you’ve seen AI work its magic, you can practically say you’ve seen it all. I mean, do you think anything can compete with a rapcoon, Walter ‘Skeleton’ White, Roman army pizza, crochetma, and Jesus getting swol?

All jokes aside, yes, it can get better, crazier, and more creative. As long as the AI has enough intellectual property to mess around with, it’s bound to eventually generate an image of a shrimp on fire dunking a basketball through a hoop that’s in the middle of a storm in the ocean full of very angry sharks… oh… wait…

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Charlotte A.
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Looks like AI has a bit of difficulty expressing itself through words, though...

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Two wizards dressed in red (one of whom is either Tom DeLonge from Blink 182 or Will Ferrell) having a lightning fight in a fast food joint, are you kidding me?! … oh, sorry. It just baffles my mind how that which has never been done before is going extinct right in front of us.

Well, AI is pretty creative, but it has its limitations. Whereas humans, they do have limitations too, but not to the same degree as AI would. At least not in terms of creative power.

AI works under a particular set of rules, bound by algorithms and restrictions set in the software itself. Human creativity, on the other hand, is not. WE are capable of exploring all possibilities—even the ones beyond any scraped database or the ones we’ve even considered. Sure, we need some input to jump off of in order to create new things, but there's much more freedom there in our head than in that of an AI.

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Patricia Perrings
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's sad that someone created this image to cause a scandal by being offensive. What is sadder is that some people don't understand that they are looking at an artificially generated image and get offended by it. The image is offensive, but it isn't real.

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Another aspect is that human creativity is not just about generating ideas. It’s about finding new ways to express who we are—identity, culture, society, all that jazz. It’s what pushes the arts forward.

And, in pretty much the same fashion, just like humans need input, AI needs it too. And, at least for now, AI is reliant on human input to do what it does. So, humans are at an advantage here.

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Cyber Returns
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

*sings* "I wanna hug your faaaace, I wanna hug your face!" (sung to the Beatles 'I want to hold your hand')

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But, instead of pitting humans against robots (and vice versa), we need to remember that computers are the result of human progress. And as such, humans and computers can do a lot if they collaborate.

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AI and designers collaborate on creating more efficient designs. AI and musicians collaborate on creating fresh ideas for music. Heck, that’s just art. AI’s helping everyone from law enforcement to doctors to lawyers. Because good results are king.

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Cyber Returns
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Rock me Aristotle! Aristotle-Aristotle! Aristotle! Aristotle-Aristotle! Aristotle! A-a-a-a-Aristotle!

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So, will AI take over the world? The short answer is likely no. The long answer, though? While there is potential to create an AI that could threaten humanity, whether by deliberate or unintentional means, we must consider that all the safeguards and security systems set in motion within the engineering industry are there to prevent the creation and release of a superintelligence that would want to take over the world.

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There’s also this thing called AI alignment—research that aims to push AI systems towards goals that humans intended for them. It serves as a precaution to make sure AI’s aims end up naturally aligning with human values and that its ability to reach sensitive control systems is beyond reach. So, sorry, AI, no doomsday device passcodes and buttons for you.

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Note: this post originally had 55 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.

If you’ve enjoyed this listicle and want to compare just how much AI has progressed over the years, why not check out how this AI tool upscales low-res photos (spoiler: it’s horrid, absolute nightmare fuel).

But if that’s not what you’re into, then at least leave a comment and upvote this listicle because while AI is indifferent to internet karma, I am not and I appreciate all of you.