When AI Generated Art and Creativity Meet Cannabis
Stoner Meets A.I – When Creativity, Cannabis and Generative Art Mix You get Magick!
There’s so much content on the internet it’s absolutely mindboggling. I know I have added a tiny droplet in the infinite pool of content you can find online – however, for the most part – the content online isn’t “all that interesting”.
Seven out of ten blogs are fluff pieces written by underpaid writers who barely can string a coherent sentence together in English, sourcing the “other articles” online written by people like them.
Then, there’s about thirty percent of pure gold online.
Content crafted by seasoned professionals who understand how to not only speak to the reader, but provide actual value on the topics you find interesting.
I have been trying to do that for over a decade with cannabis. To go beyond “getting high” and the plant itself, but to explore every facet of it I possibly can.
Today, I’m going to be leading you down a visual rabbit hole in the crazy world of Generative Art. You may have heard about it before. Platforms like MidJourney, Stable Diffusion, Dali 2, and so forth all have made headlines lately.
In fact, there are so many advances in this field that it’s hard to keep up with it all. It’s my hopes however, that by the end of this article you will have a deeper appreciation of this technology and perhaps can even take a glimpse of “what’s possible” when you take a bit of weed, time, and creativity and mess around with these powerful programs.
It’s my intention to challenge your mind, inspire you, and perhaps surprise you a bit throughout this article so pay attention – because where about to wander into the wild world of A.I art.
An Appreciation of Artificial Intelligence
It’s hard to imagine a world without artificial intelligence. We rely on it for everything from ordering food to driving cars, but what if AI could also help us create?
Will Artificial Intelligence Advance or Hinder Human Creativity?
It’s a question that has been on the minds of many since IBM’s Watson won Jeopardy in 2011. Since then, AI’s role in the creative process has become more prominent. In fact, companies like Adobe have started using algorithms to create graphics and artworks. In some instances, these machine-generated images are indistinguishable from those created by humans. This kind of work is called “generative art,” and it is made possible by text-to-image platforms like Prisma and Google Deep Dream. These programs allow users to upload an image or text and then convert it into a different image using an algorithm that mimics creativity. While this technology may be helpful for artists who lack technical skills or don’t want to spend hours editing photos on their own, it raises questions about how much human interaction will be required for creativity in the future.
Now – here’s the first little MindF*ck I’m throwing your way.
The entire first 180 words of this segment was written entirely by A.I.
The crazy thing is that I had to do very little editing to make it sound like a cohesive idea that blends naturally with my original voice. This is kind of insane – especially for a writer like myself.
I have long been on the side that A.I will never be able to replace human ingenuity, however, these days I’m not so sure.
I’ve been writing for a long time. So long in fact that my wrists are all “battle worn” after decades of punching keys. I once calculated the rough estimation of words I have written professionally and it’s somewhere between 15,000,0000 to 20,000,000.
To be fair, a lot of this content was pure bullshit. Passionless writing chasing the almighty dollar.
However, there’s a large chunk of it that I’m extremely proud of. This piece included.
The point I’m trying to make here is that if I never told you that the first part of this first segment was written by algorithms, you would have simply assumed that I wrote it. After all, I never gave you any indication that I’d be utilizing A.I to write this article.
In fact, you still can’t be 100% sure that this isn’t A.I writing this article. Maybe if I drop a “f*ck-bomb” every now and then it might convince people that I’m human…or maybe that’s what an advanced computer algorithm would reason would be enough to convince human readers of its sentience?
These are questions that no stoner should ask too late at night! You might see the sunrise!
Nonetheless, while some people might be appalled by the idea that A.I can imitate human writing to such a degree that it becomes indistinguishable from human writing – I don’t think it’s such a bad thing. In fact, there are so many “fluff content” that most books have that if A.I could write it for me, I’d be very happy.
You see – all of these advancement in technology are simply tools in the minds of creatives. Some people will use it as a crutch to replace their own creativity – however, other people will use it to explore regions of their creativity they couldn’t dream of before A.I.
As a fair warning – there will be two more sections that will be written by A.I – let’s see if after being warned you can pick up when it’s “me” writing this, or when it’s “not-me”.
Meet THE DANK KNIGHT – The Subject of our Journey
NOTE: Before we continue, I’d like to inform you that this was original “Captain Cannabis” but since two people who have been in dispute for over 15-years about who’s the rightful “founder” of the most obvious cannabis-themed super hero requested both independently that I credit them in the article – I changed the character to “The Dank Knight”. This is a play on “The Dark Knight” but mixed with cannabis. Nobody “came up with it”, it’s an obvious fusion and if you want to “claim” that you invented it…go choke on a bag of dicks.
Now…onto the journey
I think it’s always more interesting to have something we can focus on when exploring deep topics. This is why I spent hours before hand on Stable Diffusion.
Stable Diffusion is like Midjourney, except it’s 100% free. There are countless tutorials online on how you can make your own server, but I simply went to the free version on the website (linked above).
Once on this software, it’s time to make prompts – and therefore I decided to utilize “Dank Knight” as the primary focal point of this journey. With the Dank Knight locked in place, I began giving it different prompts and what you’re about to see comes from hours of me going through different prompts to come up with these images.
A “Prompt” is basically a command I give to the software so that it can take those words, use them to come up with interesting artworks.
For example, to get this image I utilized the Prompt “The Dank knight, futuristic, A brooding and solitary hero, shadowy, cannabis helmet, full cannabis battle gear, action pose, comic book character, comic book art, no words, no blur, comic book cover, hd, detailed –AR 2:3”. A few seconds later, it produced this dude who certainly does have that “captain cannabis” feel to it.
However, this is only one interpretation of the Dank Knight I managed to create. Throughout the rest of the article I’m going to show you the Dank Knight in various different formats, styles, etc – so you can see just how insane these algorithms truly are.
For the sake of continuity, we’ll call this the “first version of The Dank Knight” and the origin character.
However, similar to Doctor Who – Captain Cannabis doesn’t remain in a singular body but is far greater than one vessel. It’s more a concept than a particular person.
DANK KNIGHT QUICK ORIGIN STORY I JUST MADE UP
Okay, so one day there was some Super Potent Space Weed that sparked itself into existence in the middle of a black hole. Being the purest incarnation of weed in the entire multiverse, it needed to seek out a worthy host to share a body and mind, and to manifest itself into this reality because for this “cosmic space weed”, it existed outside of our concepts of time.
It was everywhere, all at once!
In order to focus its attention, it created millions of “cosmic space seeds” which it spread all throughout time and space.
A lucky stoner, who happened to find these seeds, germinate them, grow them in a particular manner with the right combination of nutrients and minerals – could harvest the “Cosmic Nugs” in which contained the very essence of this Cosmic Entity.
When the lucky stoner blazes up one of these nugs and inhales the smoke – they get transformed in a dank yellow cloud of smoke into the incarnation of this Cannabis Deity who identifies as “THE DANK KNIGHT”.
What makes it interesting is that this is an “Alchemical God”, meaning that when the entity fuses with the individual Stoner, it’s in fact the “third mind” which is “Captain Cannabis”. The “third mind” being the difference in frequency between the stoner’s mind and the mind of the cosmic cannabis spirit.
What the Dank Knight is supposed to do in this world is anyone’s guess. Some believe he (or she) is here to fight crime, but there isn’t really strong evidence for it.
It seems more that The Dank Knight is here to remove the bullshit from our lives, expose the lies told to us and told by us – and to enlighten the way with Dank fumes…
For some, who benefit from the masses being enslaved by “the bullshit” – Captain Cannabis is their sworn enemy. Yet no matter what they do, even if they manage to kill the vessel – the cosmic cannabis seeds will always find another host – in any of the multiple universes in existence.
The Many iterations of Captain Cannabis
As mentioned, Captain Cannabis isn’t tethered to a single person. In fact, there has been an infinite number of iterations of captain cannabis.
As you can see, all of these current iterations look like they come straight out of the pages of “Comic Books”. This is because I used these terms in the prompts to the A.I.
Now look what happens when I keep everything the same, but change the prompt to say “Movie Posters” instead of Comic Book Art.
Suddenly we have completely different renditions of the exact same phrase, “The Dank Knight”. The poster on the left seems like a strange and somewhat dark tale, while the one that looks like a Mix of Judge Dredd and some cyborg being, the one on the left magically fits within the same universe, just it seems that they had a different suit. Can someone spell “collectables!”
Nonetheless, both of these completely new iterations of The Dank Knight is completely valid and true within the larger Ethos of “Dank Knight”.
However, as I was continuing to explore this software, it suddenly gave me a different sub-angle to explore.
You see, the “Generative Art” space is a numbers game – along with knowing how to properly “prompt” the A.I. Any little tweak will give you a different result.
You have the ability to turn the character into a different sex, different style, T.V shows and so forth. Unfortunately, my editor limited the amount of pictures I can include, so just play around with the prompt above.
One final One for you…Dank Knight VS The Mold Monster…just awesome!
You can try anything!
Now, as we come to a close on this topic – let me quickly show you how versatile this software truly is. Our previous set of pictures were focused on “The Dank Knight”. But check what happens when we combine other words like “Cannabis Dragon!”
This Dragon – though it has a weirdly configured body – gives the illusion of a dragon. Your mind immediately says, “Dragon”, and the little hairs on the tale definitely gives you the vibes of Marijuana.
And to think that this image didn’t exist until I decided to tap in a few words and wait a few minutes for this to render.
You can even include certain styles and rendering engines to create more “Photo Realistic” renditions of anything.
For example, sticking to the “Cannabis Dragon Theme”, check out what happens when you include the terms “Photorealism” and “Unreal Engine 5”.
You get one of the scariest looking things that screams both “Dragon” and “Weed” but is neither.
Nonetheless, there’s a sense of “Photorealism” to this picture and while this is a very rough rendition of what this software can do – it still leaves one speechless when you think that this was conjured in a matter of seconds.
The Sticky Bottom Line
At the end of the day, this technology is only going to get more and more accurate. While this does definitely help people like me who are not as “skilled” in creating these kinds of artworks myself, I don’t think that it will ever “replace” human creativity.
As mentioned, some people will rely heavily on this technology and perhaps their creativity will not be in the actual skill of making the art – but with coming up with the prompts.
To be able to write a coherent statement that the artificial intelligence can understand and reinterpret, is not easy.
In fact, you’ll need to know about the concepts you are prompting. I simply created commands that were basic, but when you start talking about volumetric lighting, color filters, depth of field, rendering engines, etc – you begin to get wildly different results.
Therefore, while there is no skill required to create beautifully looking, albeit sometimes weird artwork – the true skill comes in knowing how to describe these events.
As for “when did A.I write more of this article?”
The answer is Never!
I simply wanted you to think that there might be more A.I prompted text in this article, but I only used a snippet in the beginning.
However, if you were actively trying to figure out – I’m sure there were bits I sounded a bit “robotic”. Which was purposeful.
At the end of the day, I believe that this technology will allow many people to express themselves better, create mockups for products without having to know much about art – and communicate ideas more effectively.
It will not take away human creativity, only create a different means of being creative.
And if you’ve been reading up until this point – why not head over to Stable Diffusion, create a crazy weed related prompt – and post your favorite result in the comment section.
And I hope that for some, “The Dank Knight” now exists as a legitimate character you can use in your fictions. If you do use him/her, feel free to credit “Reginald Reefer” for some inspiration.