strange but true
March 31, 2023 | 8:26 PM
Queen Elizabeth smiles at a computer-generated selfie at the behest of Duncan Thomsen.
Duncan Thomsen / SWNS
May there be a (ring) light.
British film editors are making headlines by using artificial intelligence to imagine Jesus, Cleopatra, Elizabeth I, Henry VIII and other famous historical figures taking selfies.
Duncan Thomsen, 53, told SWNS:
He said he uses AI software Midjourney through the Discord app. The app browses billions of images online to generate images in response to user-configured prompts and commands.
Thomsen recreated scenes from the Battle of Waterloo, Cleopatra’s court, and the Last Supper.
The programming process can be slow, Thomsen explains, because the AI tells the user exactly what needs to be done and requires “absolute clarification.”
Thomsen thinks the technology is so spot on that it could be used to teach history in schools, calling it “time travel without a time machine.”
“You can ask the AI to be historically accurate, and the AI will be able to reference anywhere, anywhere, anything. That’s the beauty of AI,” he told SWNS.
“I have had an eye for image through my day job and have been lucky to work with some really great people,” he shared.
“I was able to cross-reference everything I’ve been working on and explore my imagination without limits. Here’s the result.”
Thomsen’s project comes at a time when technology industry leaders are calling for an “immediate pause” in training advanced AI systems for at least six months.
But AI expert Eliezer Yudkowsky argues that the proposed moratorium is not enough.
“Many researchers, including myself, deeply involved in these issues believe that literally everyone on earth will die as a result of building superhumanly intelligent AI under conditions far removed from our current conditions. We anticipate that it will most likely result in ‘by hour of the week.
It’s not like, “Maybe something could happen,” but more like, “It’s obvious that it will happen.”
Just this week, it was reported that an AI chatbot drove a Belgian man to suicide.