I Used AI to Imagine Space Stuff. Here's What Happened
Have you ever wondered what Jupiter would look like as a sandwich? Mars as a cake? Venus as a soup or Neptune as a bowl of blueberries? Well, now you can Mars as a cake, bowl of blueberries, okay. All right. Hi everyone, Fraser here. I hope you're all enjoying your summer hiatus as much as I am. Now, I've got a lot of time on my hands while we're waiting to return to all of the interesting stuff we're doing in the fall. And so I have been exploring interesting new technologies that we might be able to use on Universe Today to help work on stories. And so you might know, my background is in computer science. And I am an early adopter of new and interesting technologies. And the one that I've been looking at is
artificial intelligence, image creation. And you're probably familiar with technology like DALL-E. But there's a lot of these new technologies coming out and I haven't had a chance to work with DALL-E yet. I'm still on the waitlist, but I have been able to use midjourney. And it's really cool. It's a really exciting technology. And I recommend that you check it out, if you want to try midjourney and this there's not a sponsor, I'm paying them, they're not paying me. You can
go just go do a search for midjourney, I think it's midjourney.com and and get to join their Discord server. And then you've got like a free account and you could submit a bunch of terms and then it will generate images through Discord is kind of confusing, but sort of make sense. And then you can see the other images that other people are working on and get a bunch of ideas for yourself. So for like the business case, there's a lot of ideas in space and astronomy, that nobody has developed an image for various black holes and neutron stars colliding, what would it look like from the surface of extrasolar planets, interesting concepts for space exploration, landers, rover rovers spacecraft. And so we've
actually been doing some experimentation with Universe Today on how we can use some of this artificial intelligence generated images for use in our stories. And we've actually did it a couple of times, we did a story and I actually reported it on one of the news segments on the the space bites, about a interstellar meteorite that might be at the bottom of the ocean. And so we were able to generate an underwater image of a meteorite on the bottom of the ocean. And it looks really cool. And we're able to use it in the story. We've also done more esoteric ideas, more abstract ideas, like what would a cyclical universe look like? Or a proto galaxy or a proto star cluster. And we've been able to use a couple of the images. But
you know, mostly, I'm finding that because the images aren't very scientifically accurate, we're not really able to use them unless it's a very abstract concept. And so for fun, I've been using this technology to sort of imagine ideas that nobody ever thought they would want to do. So let me give you an example here. I was talking with my wife, and she was like, What would Saturn look lik, but if the rings were made of sandwiches? Like why not? Right, let's, let's let an artificial intelligence dream up Saturn with a ring system made of sandwiches, and the result wasn't very great. But I was
like, But Jupiter will do pretty cool as a sandwich. And so I asked the AI to dream Jupiter as a sandwich and it looks really cool. I'm not sure I'd want to eat it. But it's, it's getting there. And so I was like, what would it be like to imagine the rest of the Solar System as food. So mercury as a cookie, Venus as a bowl of soup, Mars as a cake, Saturn as a bowl of pasta. Neptune as a bowl of like some kind of berry dessert. I
even imagined the Sun as a lemon tart. And that was a lot of fun. And I've been sort of now trying to explore other ways that we can just sort of like imagine the Universe as other things, what would Jupiter be in human form, etc. And so this was a lot of fun. And the team has been having a lot of fun with this as well behind the scenes and Anton, my producer decided that he was going to take this technology and he went a little crazy and has developed a whole bunch of images which Are inspires both space but also other concepts inspired together. And I'm going to react to them for the first time, I've never seen any of these images. And I'm going to try to react
and imagine and sort of analyze how well these images are done scientifically, accurately, how old is it really kind of feel like the concepts merged together dreamed up by artificial intelligence. So let's take a look at the images and I'm gonna look at them for the first time. Okay, so this is how it's gonna work. I give me a journey, a bunch of text prompts, it generated images from them. Now I removed the text prompts, group pictures in several categories. And I'm about to show them to Fraser. He has never seen them before, and now has to guess what was the tags behind each picture. And this is a quiz that you can play along
with him. So let's start with the first category. Let's do it. So here's the first one. So what do you think this is? I'm guessing that's a Tesla spaceship.
Well, no, no, Tesla isn't really super car, is it. Okay, all right. All right. So this is Aston Martin. I've got a bunch of them. Okay. All right. That's an Aston Martin spaceship. Oh, that's a really cool spaceship. It doesn't make me think Aston Martin, but it's a very cool spaceship. It looks like kind of
like a Charles Foss spaceship from the 1970s which is like a huge inspiration to me, actually. All of these really cool spacecraft that were developed by artists back in the 1970s and 80s. So this one that's a Ferrari of course. Yeah,
I guess you can you can guess it by the colors and yellow. Red, yellow. Red. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So give gives a better way. Here's another one. I'm gonna guess it's a Lamborghini.
I guess the color can give it the way. So the papaya Orange. It's a McLaren spaceship. If you're the race fan or not me, I'm not a giant fan. Okay. That's a Lamborghini. Yeah, that is a Lamborghini. Yeah. So I guess the cool thing
about all these images is like, you can see how originally it takes wheels, but transforms it into something else. So you can see like in every picture there is either like a round shape or a shape that goes and, you know, turns from a wheel into some kind of event or something like that. Okay, so it's time for the next category. And that's is astronaut portraits and
different styles is a tough one. Okay. All right. I'm ready. Yeah. So basically, guess the style and like, cyberpunk astronaut, spot on. 1 point for Fraser. All right. Okay, the next one? Sure. Is is Is it a comic? Is it a comic book? Astra. It's specifically it's a Batman astronaut. It's a Batman Asteron but in anime style, I'm not sure about the anime style. I didn't really catch it. Yeah, you can clearly
guessed the Batman, I guess. Yeah. Whoa. Is it a sculpture of an astronaut? It's, you're almost right. I mean, you can sort of guess it's made of stone. So this is like an ancient stages. So this is
like what a Roman statue or Greek statue would look like. Right? If they saw if they saw an ancient astronaut. Yeah, that's really cool. Yeah, let's see one of those ancient astronauts. I guess this one is easy. It like Japanese samurai astronaut? Yeah. Yeah. I guess you can really guess it by the it's
almost like a flag here. Yeah, but it's cool that it's sorry if it tries to create texture, like it's on paper or like something like that. You can see the texture in the background. It's imitating it. Okay, moving on. You were making space objects. Food. Yeah, I was thinking like, Okay, we are on the internet. Yeah, right. We should we should do cat right. So that's got to be Saturn cat.
Yeah, that's a satin. It's a bit of an evil Saturn cat, isn't it? This one Jupiter cat. Yeah. So my technique was to say like, like, Jupiter made out of sandwiches.
Or yeah, I would just say in Jupiter as a cat Jupiter as a cat or the Sun as a cat. Yeah, but I've saved the best cat for for the end. I think turned out really well. Let's see. Yeah,
a black hole cat. Look, it even has a tail in the accretion disk. This is so cool. Yeah. And you can see the eyes, I can tell you it took a number
of times to get each one of them. But yeah, and again, this had no input at all just basically text cat as a black hole. And that's it. And that's, that's really amazing. So moving on to the next one. Okay, I'm ready solar system made of different stuff. Okay. All right. So this is the Solar System made of yarn. Yeah. So this is basically a knitted.
Needed solar system. Yeah, I think I've seen some of those projects on Etsy. Yeah. Well, you know, now they should, you know, give us some
royalty then. Or vice versa. All right. Another thing is like, what what it does, it can do different styles. Oh, so it's like a Van Gogh solar system? Yeah, it's specific, specific picture. So it's like Van Gogh
some flowers, which, I mean, it doesn't really look like the actual picture. But you can guess the planets inside the sunflowers and stuff. And so we were like, speaking of various pictures and styles. Here's another one for you. That's
cool. Is this the last supper as astronauts? Yeah, last supper, but with astronauts? Yeah. Which is like, I mean, kind of couldn't get it just, it just knows the image. And so you can go in more extreme than that. The last supper with aliens. Yeah, it's specifically with xenomorphs. Worked. That's
awesome. I mean, it's cool that you can come up with abstract things like that. Yeah. And it just gives you gives you the result. Yeah,
I mean, this is the part that like, I'm still wrapping my mind around just like what is possible with the imagination and the ability to just deploy very quickly and see what it looks like. Alright, space objects is food. seems familiar. This is this is continuing on your inspiration from from what you did. So yeah, I thought, you know, it wasn't enough food solar system is a Jupiter as a watermelon. Specifically, it's like carved watermelon and you can you can actually give it this specific. You could do that for real. Like that seems like like an
inspiration. Someone could because with the with the exterior part, and then the red inside and then the whiter outer area. Like you could pull this off. That's really cool. Yeah. And you can actually make it like realistic from a real Juno image or something like that. Yeah, they could look not just like Jupiter or a plugin, just like yeah, this one turned out really go on. I think this can be a real recipe. Yeah, yeah. So
it's like Jupiter. Like, it's like a path to Jupiter with an egg on top. No, no, no, that's a Saturn pizza. It's a Saturn pizza. Okay. All right. But it's an interesting concept of pizza that you have like some kind of center and then you can slice it. Yeah. And you get like a slice with something like an ostrich egg. Yeah, really big.
Or it can be like a piece of dough with something inside. Yeah. So if somebody from the viewers you know, you can try to make one. I guess this this one can be really cool. send us pictures feed it well.
Yeah. So I will say this at the end, but we'll get people to send us their their weird art their weird space art. Ooh, this is like a Milky Way. Scotch.
Pretty much. I mean, it's the Universe incentive glass of whiskey. I just found that its midjourney is particularly good with putting things in glass. So yeah, in a jar, or a bottle or something. It does really great job at this. So yeah, this is
just one of the examples. I have many more of them, but I had to choose one so that that that one went. And the last one is that the Deathstar is an ice cream cone, man it's really hard to trick you you're uh you're just right with those solid basically yeah, you almost get it's like almost perfectl it'sDeathstar, I guess I also said like to put in a waffle cone or something, because it kept generating different stuff. Not thing that I wanted, but yeah, okay, let's move on to the next one. This one was fun, because this is various rockets. And basically, I wanted to do to show you know, different rockets. How could they look like?
Right so the Leaning Tower of Pisa the rocket? Yeah, man, it's hard to trick you. I mean, I was always hoping that it could be well organized of testimony just to how good this technology is. So I'm guessing a steampunk rocket. It's just a breeze for you, isn't it? Sorry, you're gonna make this harder. A Leonardo da Vinci sketch of a rocket pretty much. And you can. This one is quite interesting to me,
because you can see sort of tries to imitate text. It's clearly not text. It's not like some kind of text. Yeah, that it generated. It just knows that there should be some scribbling
lines there. Yeah, puts them there. Sometimes it'll do like, it'll put like a little signature at the bottom of the picture. Like it's signing it. Yeah, yeah, I guess you could see that in in the previous examples. Yes. Sometimes sometimes. When it thinks of a painting or something. It's, you know, imitates a signature. But if you try to read it, it's never recognizable. Yeah. Okay,
this one should be fun. This one comes up a lot in the Q and A's. So then I'm gonna guess it's a Lagrange point, but I don't know. I guess the color combination can give it away. Okay.
Come on, Unicorn tears. Fine. That's what it looks like. That is what the what the AI is good for to imagine something that exists. Right? Yeah. And okay. I always use that example. Right. Like if you know, what if there was a rocket that flew on Unicorn tears, and you drew it, which is great, because nobody ever. I couldn't find any examples of unicorn tea or rockets. So I think that's
wonderful. Thank you. So moving on to the next category is space monsters, and some of them are famous. Some of them are not so much. Right. So that's obviously the dune worm.
Yeah, this is a sense of warmth. But, but, but then that's just like a straight up. Like, how is this mashed together into something else? So you need a sand worm astronaut. You've won. Oh, this is just space monster. I know you've won. It is all I'm saying. I'm saying you know, if you're gonna do a space monster, that's fine, but it's got to be.
The key is mashing two things together. Now we're talking this is just a generic description of a giant space monster eaten a galaxy. Okay. I was like, I was gonna think like a, like a deep sea fish, like a lantern fish or something turned into kind of. Yeah, it's quite fun to find the similarities. I guess. The the see the eyes. Because you know, our pareidolia and seeing
things in seen parents. I see a lot of eyes that. Yeah, yeah. But it's not necessarily you know, it might not have put it there. It's just maybe your brain tricking you. So yeah. Your natural neural network fighting with the artificial neural neural. Yeah, yeah, totally. Yeah. Moving on to the next one. Oh, this is like a famous one.
Is this the Flying Spaghetti Monster? Yeah. Yeah. And I guess it's cool that ramen, I guess it? I guess it picked up on the flying words. And put it into clouds. Yeah, kind of fun. Yeah, they touched base noodly. appendage. So that's Chtulhu.
Yeah, but in space, but in space. Which is, which is kind of his natural natural habitat. Yeah. I t hink Chtulhu was a Pokemon, which was pretty cute. It will be quite a dangerous book. Yeah. Yeah. Chtulhu I choose you. Yeah, now it would just pictures that I can come up with a category for all right. So this is the this is the Batman nebula.
The bat signal the bad signal nebula? Yeah. Can you imagine like having a bad signal? This one. This is actually a solution for Batman. Isn't that because you could only call Batman when there are clouds. And this one is bad signal for when there are no clouds. So you can see the nebula. Right? How smart is it like then you need to take a few light years to turn it on and back off again. But sure. Yeah.
Yeah, the turning on is a bit. See that's really clever. So I chose I had it. Imagine, existing nebula. Like I did the Rosette Nebula or the Eagle Nebula or the Horsehead Nebula. And yet, it both understood what the nebula was supposed to look like. But it also tried to make it more like a horse head or an eagle or, or a rose. So it's
interesting to sort of see so I'm guessing this is a black hole in a jar. Well, yeah, I mean, as I said, it's pretty good. I put doing things in glass. So, jars, bottles, glasses, whatever, and black hole is a perfect candidate. And you could
probably even if you look at the second one, which I don't know why I did, but you could probably see the distortion of space time. So that that is like that is undistorted version on the left and the distorted version version on the right. So like this is what what the jar could actually look like. Is
this a flat earth? Yeah, it is. This this is a I knows what Flat Earth is. So this is definitely a proof that everything else is a lie. No comment. I know you love flat earthers. My favorite topic. Whoa, this one is clever is nightmare fuel. All right, so is this? Are you washing your hands in black was a black hole sink? Or you walk down the drain of a black hole? No, it this is actually what the AI thinks of holding a black hole with your hands with and see I think this time, it was much more clever than it should be. Because it is first because
firstly, as you can see suffering spaghettification Yeah, you're suffering damage. Yeah, but also, this is not blood. This is redshift. Right? Because the hand is moving away from you. So it shifts into the red spectrum. That's much more clever than it should be. Right?
Is it? Yeah, it's uh, this is nightmare fuel for sure. Yeah, well, a little bit. It's like a collateral damage. Associated with that. Yeah. So this is a mission patch. Is this Jupiter? Is this a mission patch to Jupiter for spacecraft? Interstellar mission patch. Okay. So this is the I actually had a bunch of them. So yeah, so this
one, it it's funny that it picks up what a patch is, like, it gives you the texture of the cotton and stuff like that. And you can see like, almost the stitches. So and again, no specific inputs, just saying, you know, interstellar mission shoulder patch. That's, that's what, you give it that and you get the results. Is this Elon Musk on Mars? Specifically, this is a portrait of Elon Musk as a president of Mars. Elon Musk
is the president of Mars. Yeah. nightmare fuel for a lot of people out there as well. Okay. This is a little bit of a is this like, is this a space? Otter? Nebula? Almost there. Otter space.
Yeah, well, it looks kind of nice. I mean, it's Yeah, cute. Yeah, like it. Couple extra eyes, but it sounds like some kind of exotic space drive when you shift into otter. So this is, this is the teapot in space.
Yeah. So specifically, this is like the this is the Russell's teapot, and yes, I guess debunks the whole idea of Russell's teapot. So it's like a meta joke. Because the whole idea about behind the Russell's teapot is that you cannot see it. But now we know we can. So that is what AI gives us.
So let me go the Russell's teapot has been observed. This shouldn't be one of your favorites, to be honest. I mean. Is this one is this von Neumann probes? Is this some kind of self replicating robots? Yeah, self replicating robots exploring the Galaxy area. All
right. This is what this is what I came up with. Yeah. You can even see humans but humans are don't belong there. One moments probably watching your own robot probes head out into space.
I think this one is, you know, simple enough. And this one actually looks really realistic. Is it a solar sail? Mission? Yeah, I guess it picked up on the sale word. So this is why it made it triangular, which kind of makes sense. But we all know that it
should probably look square, or maybe some other shape. But it's this can be accurate. If you're sort of seeing it from a bit of an angle. Yeah. It's quite realistic, isn't it? I mean, it has the Earth in the background. It sort of has the spacey thing going on. And you
could see the light coming from one side and reflecting of the solar sails so it kind of has an idea of what foil should look like and that what the solar sails should be made out of. Yeah, I like it, which is man I love the just the overall art style is so cool. Is this a space elevator? Definitely. Yeah. And you can see that, you know, it has some other structures in the background. And that it, you
know, I'm not sure that the space elevator should go wider on the base because it should be hanging from a string. But But yeah, that's, and again, it didn't have any reference. So it just knows that this space elevator is something that comes from the clouds and goes up, which is kind of interesting. I
think we're, we're approaching the end of our quiz. This is another thing that comes up on your q&a a lot. Oh, are these Europan Space whales. To be honest, I cheated a bit on this one, because I couldn't get them on Europa under the ice. So it's just like space whales near Jupiter. But they could be on Europa.
Well, then, hopefully, one of the viewers can come up with a better version of your Open Space whales. Oh, yeah, definitely. I mean, it's just while trial and error, you can you can definitely get the results. I just, you know, I didn't get any that I was really satisfied with but this one looks really nice that it has Jupiter in the background and something resembling the whales here. So yeah. So yeah, this is what I, you know, selected for this video. What do you think
about it? Do do you think we can actually use it or like, should share, share your thoughts on you know, what, what I've done what you've done. So I mean, this technology is brand new. And it's kind of stunning, like, that artificial intelligence is, is able to develop artwork that is this creative is I was I did not anticipate this this early into the artificial intelligence revolution. And it's not very useful for us. I think, in many
cases, it's really important when we're, we're providing images for Universe Today, this, the pictures have to be scientifically accurate. And so if I show an image, and it's not scientifically accurate, it's kind of useless, and it's even damaging. So we're having to be really careful about if we're going to be using these for Universe Today, stories, stuff that's very conceptual, it makes sense stuff that is purely imagined. Makes sense. But you know, drawing pictures of actual
specific rockets or specific astronomical objects, we're not there yet. But it's going to be coming, I can imagine in the future, we will be able to get much more accurate images, we'll be able to fine tune the images. So you know, a space elevator, but make the horizons lineup. And so I think we'll continue to
experiment, but it's just a lot of fun. It's a chance for a person who's a non artists like me to explore ideas and, and sketch out ideas. I've been using it to illustrate the ARS magic, I'm playing a role playing game with my son and his friends. And I'm able to show them images of the castles and
the people that they're meeting and the interesting adventures that they're going on in a way that I could just never do before. And that's really fun and really helpful. And gives a chance to explore creative outlets. So I think we're not there yet. But it is shockingly good and interesting and artistic. And I look forward to being able to roll it into what
we do in the future. Well, yeah, I think this is a question that will come up a lot as instruments like me journey, and Delhi and other ones will become more and more common. So that is definitely there's definitely a thing that got the copyright law, we will need to sort of well, I think that's a very complicated question, because the artificial intelligence was trained on the work of artists, and in some cases, it's fine. It's trained on the work on artists who the copyright on their work has expired, that's perfectly within fair use. But if it's training on living artists who are attempting to do their work today and sell their paintings, if you can have an artificial intelligence, learn from their work and then do drawings in seconds, that is inspired by them. That is a problem. And I don't think there's a simple solution to that right now. And and I don't know what the answer
is, but I think it's gonna be gross. I, the way I described it, is you're kind of taking the work the hard work of artists, you're converting it into Soylent Green and feeding it to artificial intelligence for the for our robot overlords. So I think you know, I definitely think it's been problematic and in the same way that my writing has been used to train artificial intelligence for how there's a grasshopper right outside my window. It's the same thing as how my work is being
used to train artificial intelligence to write information about space and astronomy. And it's, it's kind of cool. But it's also kind of unsettling, and kind of annoying. And I don't know how it's all going to play out. And
I hope that we can come up with some kind of way that the the underlying content, the data that goes in to train these artificial intelligence systems, respects the original creators of the work, and even compensates them, ideally, would be the way to go. But what I would love is for people to show me the work that they've done. So if using mid journey, or dolly or any of these artificial intelligence tools, just send me of like, just send me a message on Twitter, or I guess, reference me on Discord. Got it. We've got a Discord server. Yeah, if you want to come and share your images, join on our Discord server. And, and we'll share some of the pictures that
we've been doing and people can can see them, or make a mention of me on Twitter, and I'll check out the work and we can even collaborate and come up with some new ideas, and I can generate some more images. I'm still taking orders on my recipe tweet. So if you've got some kind of meal that you want turned into space, just let me know. And I will I keep I keep
generating new images for people. So definitely check that out. So thanks, everyone, for watching. If you have your ideas, you can share them in the comments you can you know, discuss any ethical questions about AI, which I think there are a lot of so so Yeah, feel free. It's been a fun video to make. I've played with the majority for hours and hours. And yeah, we both are a lot of time at this technology. So yeah,
sure. Share your thoughts, share your results and see you whenever you know, maybe we can do a follow up with Dolly when we get the exes. Yeah, yeah. Now if you want more space and astronomy news, you should
sign up to my weekly email newsletter goes out to over 50,000 people totally free. I write every word, go to universe today.com/newsletter. And if you want an audio version of everything that we do at Universe Today, just go to universe today.com/podcast Or just search for Universe Today on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks to everyone who supports us on Patreon. We really appreciate
all your support. You can join this incredible team, go to patreon.com/universe today. Thanks, Anton. That was a lot of fun. I look forward to doing more of this work with you in
the future. And we'll see you next time.