We’ve finally come to the end of the Six Weeks of Halloween, and as I cope with the withdrawal symptoms, I leave you with this dump of interesting links from the depths of ye olde internets:
- The Psychological Weirdness of “Prompt Engineering” – Apparently folks studying AI art prompts have discovered that the AIs have developed their own nonsense language. And I, for one, welcome our new artbot overlords. I’d like to remind them as a trusted blogging personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.
Scientists who’ve probed the inner workings of artbots have documented some truly odd inner states of these machines. Recently, two researchers at the University of Texas at Austin recently discovered that DALL-E 2 generates apparently gibberish phrases that, within the model itself, appear to have some sort of consistent meaning. They noticed the model generating the phrase “Apoploe vesrreaitais” — and when they fed that back to DALL-E 2 as a prompt, it drew birds. Similarly, “Contarra ccetnxniams luryca tanniounons” gets it DALL-E 2 to draw bugs or pests. “Wa ch zod ahaakes rea” produces pictures of seafood. Why? How did the model generate this weird, internal new language? The scientists have no idea, though it seems like some stray artifact of the adversarial nature of the DALL-E 2’s text encoder.
- A Matter of Rights: A Talk with Lee Tsiantis – Short interview with a lawyer who does rights research for TCM and Warner Home Video. Rights issues are complicated and somewhat infuriating when you realize that, most of the time, studios can’t distribute the films due to nonexistent creators and the difficulty of tracing who owns what after the original creator died decades ago.
- Chloe Grace Moretz on Martin Scorsese – Buried in this interview are a few fun anecdotes about Scorsese that really prompt additional questions: What were those 25-30 movies? And what did they sing for karaoke?
AVC: What was it like to star in a Martin Scorsese movie when you were so young, especially one as grand and epic as this one?
CGM: It was all-encompassing, and I feel like [Scorsese is] very all-encompassing. He is such a cinephile, and he really imparted that knowledge to me, just in the time that I got to spend with him. One of the first things he did when I showed up to start preproduction is he had a big box dropped off, and it had probably 25, 30 movies in it. And he was like, “Before we start production, you have to watch all of these.” The movies that he gave me were different than movies he gave Asa [Butterfield]. So we had to do our homework, and then he would basically pop quiz us on it. He’d be like, “So, what do you think about this? What do you think about that?” He really got our muscles flexing.
AVC: I love that Scorsese just gave you a giant pile of movies to watch. That’s exactly what I would imagine him doing.
CGM: That’s exactly it. And we spent Christmas dinner together, basically, and we all just sang karaoke on the floor.
- Here’s Everything That’s Leaving Your Brain This Month – You know those “Here’s everything leaving Netflix this month” lists? This is like that, but for your braiin mannnn…
- We performed magic tricks on birds to see how they perceive the world – This sounds like it might be a silly link, but it’s actually a pretty clever way to explore how animals perceive the world: see what kinds of sleight of hand fool them.
- What’s Your Favorite Pop Tart – This feels like a pitch perfect parody of dudebro podcast hosts, and yet it appears to be real, such that anyone parodying this sort of thing really has their work cut out for them. Anyway, I’m team strawberry, but do you guys remember Toaster Strudels? Good times.
That’s all for now…