Take a close look at the image below. That’s a male and a female, right? It’s not a male-on-male combination or some kind of lesbian derivative. A computer brain decided that a hetero relationship would provide the perfect representation of love.
Before you blast criticism my way and make assumptions, this was the phrase I gave AI:
“Two lovers looking at each other and holding hands.”
Simple. Brief. Non-threatening. Definitely non-sexualist (is that a real word?). This prosecutor did NOT lead the witness your honour!
The phrase didn’t specify sex, shape, race, height, age or religion. I had no say in what the computer decided to make with these nine regularly used, harmless English words.
According to artificial intelligence, a slim fertile white female (around twenty years of age) with long, wavy blonde hair, big eyelashes and plump lips, is one-half of the perfect lover set. The other half contains a slim guy (of similar age) who has chiselled features, is slightly taller, has a hint of a beard, and hands that are as big as his head!
What entered the picture without prompting the computer was that bunch of flowers. It was a surprise inclusion. It gives the impression that the couple has just given birth to a bouncing baby of thorny stemmed white roses (Ouchies for her!) and this is their first studio portrait together. (Awwwww!)
Okay, I get it. There’s not much sex found in this scene. In fact, the more you stare at it, the more celibate it becomes. These two look like they just came straight from religious studies to have their picture taken. Without rings on their fingers, AI has them close but barely touching. Even their hands fail to connect as they focus on the traditional symbol of love instead. (How sweetly kitschy. I want to vomit!)
There’s lots more to take away when examining this picture:
She’s in a long-sleeved light feminine dress while he dons a fashionably masculine suit. There’s no jewellery or watches to distract either. I guess the computer believes they’ll have everything they need to sparkle in their perfectly kitschy lovey-dove life. Jewellery isn’t required in it.
The image is monochromatic — a common photographing style many professional photographers have used in the past when creating scenes of romance. Clearly, AI drew inspiration from the many images that already exist in the general media on the topic.
What I want to know is why their hands didn’t get connected like I asked AI to do. The answer may lie in what I started out doing to receive this picture in the first place.
Originally, I wanted two lovers kissing each other (for another blog post I was writing). But the artificial intelligence engine I was using just wouldn’t go there. Apparently, it was too perverted. AI asked me not to tell it to make such content so I changed the words to holding hands and it finally came up with this single picture instead (it often offers a few alternatives). It gave me a bunch of flowers and a couple of hands that never touched.
The result of this became a new blog post—this one.
Interesting outcome for artificial intelligence and its current take on human love and sexuality, isn’t it?