Hope you’re all doing well with the early summer weather. Thankfully the temperature is dropping, just in time for the marathon tomorrow. Alas, rain is predicted, but that’s preferable to boiling temps.
So, I guess everyone, by now, has heard of Artificial Intelligence. Or, AI, which in a non-serif font looks a lot like Al, as in Allen. Not Ai, as in Aiden.
I have to say, as a blogger, I am inundated with ads for courses that will supposedly help me make untold sums of money using AI. $1,997.00 value for only $499.00!
I wish! Alas, it’s a fantasy.
There are many people who make a living solely by telling others how to make a living. Sigh…
However, it’s true. One can write an entire blog post using the words spat out by a computer. Hell, one could write an entire novel using AI.
Hello, Brave New World! It would appear that computers really are taking over everything, But, hey; not so fast!
Aren’t you worried, Laurel? Your headline seemed to indicate so.
Am I worried that computers are going to start writing about the best white paint colors and knock me back to page 113,698 of 64,000,000,000,000 results?
Naaahhh… Not really.
I’m not worried because no computer can replicate my wackadoodle voice. I mean, do you know any computers that will suddenly throw in a word of Yiddish in one paragraph and play Mozart for you in the next?
To demonstrate this point, I went into the free app; you must have heard something about it by now.
No, Laurel, I haven’t heard of ChatGPT.
Ah, well, then consider yourself lucky. Or, maybe not.
ChatGPT stands for “Generative Pre-trained Transformer.”
Transformer? My son used to play with Transformers when he was little. You know, those toys that would transform from a robot into a truck.
Okay, let’s test this ChatGPT baby out. By the way, it’s FREE to use!
As a preamble, I went to the Design Blogger’s Conference eight years ago and heard Bunny Williams speaking. She mentioned her legendary husband, John Rosselli, and with a wink, said how annoyed (jealous?) he gets when she stays up late reading our interior design blogs.
That gave me an idea for an attention-grabbing headline.
Why Bunny Williams’ Husband Hates Me
Please feel free to read it.
However, in order to make a comparison of writing, I put the same headline into ChatGPT.
Please note: I am putting all ChatGPT into a graphic because Google, my sadistic boyfriend (that I hate right now), knows when AI has written something, and that does not amuse him because he figures if people wanted to read an encyclopedia, they would look it up on Wikipedia. So, we need to be careful to appease Google, for he might decide to punish us.
Below is my headline, and below that is ChatGPT’s answer.
Haha! Gosh, that’s a terrific answer! Well, it would be if AI understood that I AM joking 100%!
Of course, AI doesn’t understand that Bunny Williams’ husband not only doesn’t hate me, but it’s also highly unlikely he’s ever even heard of me. Okay, it’s eight years later and there’s a remote chance he has by now. Maybe. However, in 2015, definitely no.
Sure, people will use AI to write blog posts, but it won’t help them much. I think I’ll be okay, but if I were a psychotherapist, I might be a little concerned. haha
So, Laurel, why do you hate Google?
Ummm… Google has been giving me fits for over ten years in one way or another. That’s all I can say. We’re trying to work things out.
Maybe ARTificial Intelligence can help. :]
I follow Neil Patel, the marketing and SEO genius I met and had dinner with just over three years ago. He says there’s a good use for AI when it comes to blogging. And, that’s for ideas, and structure.
I haven’t tried it yet. I’m not sure if it would help or get in my way. However, it is a fast way of researching something I’m not 100% sure about.
Aside from ChatGPT, a new friend told me about OpenAI.
(I think it might be the same thing. But, it creates images instead of text)
Have y’all seen that one?
All you do is put your sentence or phrase in the box, wait a few seconds, and up pops up AI’s version of what it thinks you might want to see. All are free of copyright, too.
I did it for kitchens putting in several terms, like DeVOL Kitchen, Gil Schafer Kitchen, and finally, Laurel Bern Kitchen. And, yes, I’m not going to show the others, but I did see elements of the designers in the kitchens Open AI sent back to me.
But, my kitchen? ChatGPT has NO idea who I am.
That is unless he was just messing with my head. That might be the case.
Haha! Ummm that would be a big fat, NOT even close!
With everything I put in, there was some degree of deformity. I’m not sure what that’s about.
However, Art must’ve done some quick research because he soon realized his error, and I got back some beautiful kitchens. Or, at least, the concept for the kitchen. There is always some level of deformity in the designs. But, you get the idea, for sure.
I will now share some of the Artificial AI kitchens ala Laurel Bern, and with tall glass cabinet doors.
This one reminds me of a combination of the two kitchens below.
This week after writing again about warm gray paint colors and featuring the beautiful homes of Furlow Gatewood, I began thinking about the decorative palm fronds he had in his homes.
I think it’s safe to say that “thinking” is a gross understatement.
Cuthbert House has these lovely stylized fronds, above. (and below)
It says they are made from tole. They look more like plaster or ceramic. But, of course, they could be metal.
This version of the palm fronds was found in the Peacock House.
Photo: Rod Collins
Above is the living room, where the palm fronds hung majestically over the fireplace mantel.
For the big black sofa post, last year, I was going to put this in, but it didn’t make the cut.
I read in Furlow’s book, One Man’s Folly, The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood, that these fronds are also metal, and he had them made in India. Okay, I’ll buy that.
Getting back to the palm fronds. I couldn’t find them.
The closest was found by Cubby, a kind reader, who spoke of them in the comments a few days ago. (The warm gray paint colors post.)
They’re fantastic, but here’s the problem. They’re only 15″ wide. However, Furlow’s look to be somewhere between 42″ – 48″ wide. These would look a little dinky on that wall. But, maybe on a smaller wall, this would work.
Believe me; I looked and looked for something else.
There are zillions of pieces with a rococo flavor, like these from Outwater, that are 10″ long in unfinished polymer resin. These are beautiful, and I could see Furlow using a fragment of something like this somewhere, but that’s not what he did. What he did is plainer and more Louis XVI/neoclassical/Regency than Louis XV in style.
This piece directly, above from Decorator’s Supply could work if painted. I might put a carved rosette in the middle of opposing pairs. Actually, and very beautiful and definitely neoclassical.
I just found this piece also on Decorator’s Supply. It is 26″ wide. I think Furlow might like this one, but it is more delicate than his.
By the way, I asked Open AI to make a Furlow Gatewood living room.
This is quite interesting. It looks like Furlow, but Furlow high on something.
Still, I wanted to find the palm fronds. I put some of the drawings from Open AI in Google Lens. That was what I hoped would find them for me.
But, instead, I found this next image.
Uhhh… No. This is hilariously wroooooong!
Now, here is when I got lost in my addiction to OpenAI.
ChatGPT is merely a gateway drug. ;]
I put in my search terms, like plaster, palm fronds, laurel bough, branch, Furlow Gatewood, branches, leaves, neoclassical, Regency, and so forth… However, you don’t need to change the search terms. AI will gladly create three new iterations of what it thinks you want to see every time you hit ENTER.
I probably did at least 300 of these “fronds.”
Above are a few of the better ones. You can see the one in the middle, on the bottom, is totally in the manner of the Cuthbert fronds. The one on the bottom left is more of a classic “laurel” leaf. The rest look like sconces.
However, I did make this image in Picmonkey using the laurel leaf image. This one is like mixing Cuthbert with Peacock.
I could see using this tool as a fantastic aid for product development. It’s not that anything needs to be a direct replica. However, it could serve to inspire a derivative.
Although most of the images were pretty good, some of the Open AI iterations were pretty comical.
This is seriously cracking me up. Is that first dude on the left sticking his tongue out? Then, there’s the legless laurel wreath goddess, and finally, palm frond hair! I could see John Derian selling stuff like this in his NYC shop.
However, this next one takes the prize.
Dismembered and conjoined twins worked into a laurel wreath?
So, I didn’t come up with anything else in the marketplace that’s like Furlow’s palm fronds.
This carved wood comes from CustomsBot on Etsy. However, it is only about 15″ wide.
So, maybe this could be a DIY project for some brave soul. I tried to imagine myself making them.
I thought about carving them out of wood.
No way. Waaay too difficult, and I am sure I would be ripping my fingers to shreds.
So, I asked AI the question.
Thanks, Art. That’s a very well-thought-out and lucid response.
I think modeling clay might be the way to go. That would be the kind of clay that is self-hardening.
And, very quickly, I found one of the best tutorials I’ve ever seen on Youtube. I wasn’t bored for one second.
I found another tutorial to make a beautiful rococo wood carving similar to the one you can pick up easily.
What is the point of making something that’s already manufactured?
However, the modeling clay video is excellent. Here it is.
I think it would help a lot to have a line drawing underneath the clay to make sure everything is straight and the right size. Plus, it takes the guesswork out of what each element will look like.
So, is anyone game to try this?
I dunno if I have the time or patience. Plus, these pieces aren’t small.
Maybe I should stick to what I do best, for now.
haha! Although, I don’t know if the world is ready for conjoined Laurels.
Alas, artificial intelligence looks like it’s here to stay.
I think it could be a useful tool for many businesses, but I wouldn’t go overboard thinking it’s the next shiny thing one must go running after— or else, be lost in the dust.
While I also think it’s important to make changes in one’s business, I also think it’s best to stay the course and do what’s working for you.
For me, it has largely been consistency and not following the crowd.
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Dear Laurel, I just read your piece on Bunny Williams and her husband!! What a great read, thank you. If you ever are silly enough to give up design, (which I hope you never do) you will have an awesome career in comedy writing!! Be well!
My husband has been playing with that AI app and then reads “his” articles to me. It’s horrible, much like when someone says excitedly “let me tell you the dream I had last night.”
The palm fronds with the ribbon is beautiful and so affordable and I know just where to hang it but that ribbon makes me very angry. I want to cuss like a thug. I’ll keep looking.
I call ChatGPT “Charlie” but he never answers to that. I was going to have him post my response here, but seeing as you’re concerned about ChatGPT being detected, I’ll refrain. I think strong personality will trump the AI’s for quite a long time. Charlie is fun to play with, but for purposes of getting my own work done, he’ll be sitting on the sidelines. P.S. You had lunch with Neil Patel!? Very very cool. Howdja manage THAT?
Also I love the siamese twins with three boobys!
I will definitely check out the article, I used chatGPT last week to write an entire book for me! It worked so well, I have sent it to a few people to review and they love it, it took me about an hour to make this book! I also played around with it and asked for high resolution pics of interiors and it was great. I think it could be a great teaching tool, I went deeper into it and basically trained it to know who I am and it gave great results. As I said it can never replace the creativity of the human mind, but it can be a teaching tool and a way to make outlines for projects and save us some time by not having to type pages and pages of text! Also it does not have any internet info from the last two or three years so it can be outdated! Have a great week my friend!
My kids and I have a lot of fun with ChatGPT. We give it what elements we want in a story and it comes up with some really fun bedtime stories. We also had it write poems and songs about each of us. Mostly they were very silly and funny but one was produced that actually made me get teary eyed which then made me laugh being that it was AI generated. It also helped my kids spark some of their own creativity as well when we asked for some creative writing prompts. So there are some pretty fun uses for it though I also informed my kids that there are apps that can tell if a paper is AI generated so don’t cheat and use it to write school assignments.
Laurel – You are so talented and charming with all the knowledge and advice we want.
I don’t chose to dip my finger in AI as once in and, similar to the frog in the skillet, just turn the heat up a little at a time and you stay.
There is only one Laurel and can’t be duplicated, and we all love you!!!!!!!
That’s quite the rabbit hole! I have zero interest in trying it myself but it was fun to watch what you came up with. A good use of AI that I came across recently was to create a poster graphic for our small town’s community theater production. Apparently it took quite a few attempts to get it to deliver “the one” but it turned out something lovely in the end.
Hi Laurel, this really made me laugh 😂! This technology has it’s limits, and it definitely cannot replace the creativity of a talented designer! I think it’s good for making outlines or organizing projects.
Don’t worry my friend you are irreplaceable 😘
Oh, it’s Lisa, my new friend, I mentioned in the post who told me about the openAI website. Thank you so much for your kind words. I was just reading an interesting article that says AI may very well replace Google Search in as little as two years. AI, in seconds will do the combing through the search results and then aggregate an answer, or possibly send the person to websites, it deems to be the best, for further review, thereby circumventing the need for an actual person to visit Google.
Hello Laurel, Well, AI is still pretty new, and the number of training images is limited. You have seen thousands of kitchens, and some of those, especially those you have owned or designed, from an infinite number of angles and reiterations. While I agree that AI can never replace Laurel Bern*, for a number of the design bloggers and Youtubers out there, and I not so sure the switch hasn’t already taken place.
*(although Honorable Mention does go the the two-headed conjoined twins)
Haha! and thank you for your kind words, Jim!
Absolutely love you as a conjoined twin! Hilarious post. Thankyou!
‘sight’ not ‘site’
Thank you so much for posting this. I’ve been wondering how you could use it, and I couldn’t figure it out. It seems more like a tool to write term papers without plagiarizing them. The magic of bloggers is their opinions and critical thinking and in your case the splash of fun humor. Can AI be funny? Maybe, but it could never duplicate you.
Have a great day!
I laughed out loud when I saw those first Laurel kitchen images. In general, the AI generated images look like a nightmare one would have during the construction phase of a remodel. In such a nightmare, one might envision the project going horribly wrong.
The AI cautionary tales we are seeing are a kind of hysteria. I will admit I do not have the time nor inclination to play around with these ‘tools.’ But I did see a posting just this week which claimed AI would kill the internet because people are searching for connection to others, not connection to a computer.
There is no replacement for human creativity, not in this age. First, we would have to understand it, and we don’t. AI can’t replicate what its programmers don’t even understand.
However, biological science is going to deliver some whoppers of change in the near future. People are looking for the wrong boogieman. What technology has already done to our bodies and will continue to do will change what humans are (and it has already done so). Our art is filled with these themes because artists know instinctively what the challenges will be. This will impact us far, far more than losing a job to AI. If we don’t kill the planet and ourselves, biological science will create wonders and enormous challenges in the next century. This has been predicted for quite a while now.
Maybe I am wrong about this wave of AI. I think this hysteria is kind of a shell game in which we are being told to look here while the real ‘threat’ is right out in the open hiding in plain site.
Anyway, a great morning laugh Laurel. Thanks for all you do!!
I love what you said, here, Ramona.
AI can’t replicate what its programmers don’t even understand.
So true! I just found an article that I linked to a comment near this one about another use which is absolutely making Google exceedingly nervous. It makes most of its money through humans searching it’s search engine looking for the answers. However, ChatGPT, and do the research in a few seconds and save the human a lot of time from having to do the search for themselves.
Will this effect me? Well, it won’t if ChatGPT likes my content and sends humans over to read it. I don’t know if it will do that or not. Perhaps it will give the humans an option such as the aggregate answer and the “for further reading” answer. It’s like have a research assistant for free! Bloody freaking brilliant!
Every technological advancement has com with pros & cons. It will be fascinating to see where this goes.
I’m with you, Ingrid, and Oona! What has predictive text ever done for anyone, except make us look foolish, uneducated, or just plain crazy? I’ve tried posting 2 times, and the bots won’t post it, so I’m trying to post as a “reply” instead. Laurel, we love you, not Artie!
Awww, thanks, Gabrielle. I’m sorry you had trouble posting a comment. I’m wondering what device/browser you were using.
I agree with Ingrid, and Oona…do not be too bewitched by Artie Ichobod! Like crafty Odysseus, do not heed the song of the sirens. Don’t forget the wonderful suggestions of predictive text! PT has made fools of us all, at least once, and even as I send this, it tells me such ridiculous things! I try to write the word “wants”, and it substitutes “yammar” 🤔🤣😉
Funny! There are some things that are just amusing, and ChatGPT is one of them. Think about predictive text. I will say no more. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should, and all Artie Ichobod is only as smart as Artie’s creator. My son suffered a TBI, and watching him recover was incredible; the nuances of the human brain are amazing! If it was Artie recovering, I think we’d still be in the hospital & not out of ICU! 🤣
I’m so sorry, Gabrielle, your son had to go through all of that, with a critical injury, and of course, his poor mama. I’m wishing him steady progress through his recovery!
I haven’t been bitten by the AI bug and I hope if you do use it, you’re able to let it help you rather than replace your quirky funny voice. AI has no irony or humor and we appreciate yours! Too, its decor taste is tacky rather than subtle. The laurel above the door in wedge wood blue from the 80’s? No thanks! 😂
The dry answers ARE funny but not because they are intended to be. It’s like having a conversation with Mr. Spock. haha.
Very curious indeed!
I looked at the fronds at the company Cubby suggested, Heartwood Carving. They can do iterations of the ones like the fronds if you give them information on sizing and what exactly you want – “The Heartwood Carving Modifications Service allows you to request alterations to existing Heartwood Carving catalog parts. Modifications requests are typically to resize, change scale or proportion, change border, add or subtract art, or place the art into different profiles or in combinations.”
Maybe that night work! I need palm fronds like Furlow’s!!!!
Oh, that’s terrific news! Thank you for noticing and sharing the info.
I, too, became absolutely obsessed with those fronds after your Furlow post. Looked all week online, the closest I got was some laser-cut olive branch thing on Amazon! I wonder if they could be 3-D printed? 🧐
How’s your place coming along?!
Haha. Although, it’s not really funny. I have contacted four contractors to replace the one who’s tied up until at least next February. Of the four, only one of them made the cut. I am waiting for his estimate. I did contact him about six days ago to say I am very interested. Sigh…
I agree with Ingrid “We want to hear from you, and no one else.” You write beautifully: very informative, funny and entertaining! And not just anybody can do that; not even the computer. Thank you for sharing your gifts!
Oh Lawd-a-mercy! The swoooping dragon had me crying. Darn near choked on my breakfast smoothie!
Gah! That last image 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
That Furlow Gatewood room was hysterical, especially with your description of it!
This post had me in stitches, Laurel, especially because I had my own run in with ChatGPT this week. I agree that AI could never duplicate your quirky, authentic voice. Thanks for the giggle!
Alas, the palm fronds are the one and only decorative items of Furlow Gatewood that did not elicit my admiration. In every other respect he can do no wrong.
From what I’ve seen here I’m leery of AI and what it can do, and most especially what it can do for you, Laurel. I beg you not to be seduced by its questionable charms. We want to hear from you, and no one else.
No worries. This post is meant to be satirical. Well, 80% of it. :] Frankly, when one is suddenly bombarded with something and an “easy” way to make money, it is my cue to run far and fast. The only one making a lot of “easy” money quickly is the person with the mysterious, never-before-seen way to make money.