More on Society & Culture
1 year ago
Don't underestimate the foolish
ZERO GRACE/ZERO MALICE
Big companies and wealthy people make stupid mistakes too.
Your ancestors kept snakes and drank bad water. You (probably) don't because you've learnt from their failures via instinct+, the ultimate life-lessons streaming network in your head. Instincts foretell the future. If you approach a lion, it'll eat you. Our society's nuanced/complex decisions have surpassed instinct. Human growth depends on how we handle these issues. 80% of people believe they are above-average drivers, yet few believe they make many incorrect mistakes that make them risky. Stupidity hurts others like death. Basic Laws of Human Stupidity by Carlo Cipollas:
Everyone underestimates the prevalence of idiots in our society.
Any other trait a person may have has no bearing on how likely they are to be stupid.
A dumb individual is one who harms someone without benefiting themselves and may even lose money in the process.
Non-dumb people frequently underestimate how destructively powerful stupid people can be.
The most dangerous kind of person is a moron.
Professor Cippola defines stupid as bad for you and others. We underestimate the corporate world's and seemingly successful people's ability to make bad judgments that harm themselves and others. Success is an intoxication that makes you risk-aggressive and blurs your peripheral vision.
Stupid companies and decisions:
Big-company bad ideas have more bulk and inertia. The world's most valuable company recently showed its board a VR headset. Jony Ive couldn't destroy Apple's terrible idea in 2015. Mr. Ive said that VR cut users off from the outer world, made them seem outdated, and lacked practical uses. Ives' design team doubted users would wear headsets for lengthy periods.
VR has cost tens of billions of dollars over a decade to prove nobody wants it. The next great SaaS startup will likely come from Florence, not Redmond or San Jose.
Apple Watch and Airpods have made the Cupertino company the world's largest jewelry maker. 10.5% of Apple's income, or $38 billion, comes from wearables in 2021. (seven times the revenue of Tiffany & Co.). Jewelry makes you more appealing and useful. Airpods and Apple Watch do both.
Headsets make you less beautiful and useful and promote isolation, loneliness, and unhappiness among American teenagers. My sons pretend they can't hear or see me when on their phones. VR headsets lack charisma.
Coinbase disclosed a plan to generate division and tension within its workplace weeks after Apple was pitched $2,000 smokes. The crypto-trading platform is piloting a program that rates staff after every interaction. If a coworker says anything you don't like, you should tell them how to improve. Everyone gets a 110-point scorecard. Coworkers should evaluate a person's rating while deciding whether to listen to them. It's ridiculous.
Organizations leverage our superpower of cooperation. This encourages non-cooperation, period. Bridgewater's founder Ray Dalio designed the approach to promote extreme transparency. Dalio has 223 billion reasons his managerial style works. There's reason to suppose only a small group of people, largely traders, will endure a granular scorecard. Bridgewater has 20% first-year turnover. Employees cry in bathrooms, and sex scandals are settled by ignoring individuals with poor believability levels. Coinbase might take solace that the stock is 80% below its initial offering price.
Fools' ledgers are valuable. More valuable are lists of foolish rich individuals.
Robinhood built a $8 billion corporation on financial ignorance. The firm's median account value is $240, and its stock has dropped 75% since last summer. Investors, customers, and society lose. Stupid. Luna published a comparable list on the blockchain, grew to $41 billion in market cap, then plummeted.
A podcast presenter is recruiting dentists and small-business owners to invest in Elon Musk's Twitter takeover. Investors pay a 7% fee and 10% of the upside for the chance to buy Twitter at a 35% premium to the current price. The proposal legitimizes CNBC's Trade Like Chuck advertising (Chuck made $4,600 into $460,000 in two years). This is stupid because it adds to the Twitter deal's desperation. Mr. Musk made an impression when he urged his lawyers to develop a legal rip-cord (There are bots on the platform!) to abandon the share purchase arrangement (for less than they are being marketed by the podcaster). Rolls-Royce may pay for this list of the dumb affluent because it includes potential Cullinan buyers.
Worst company? Flowcarbon, founded by WeWork founder Adam Neumann, operates at the convergence of carbon and crypto to democratize access to offsets and safeguard the earth's natural carbon sinks. Can I get an ayahuasca Big Gulp?
Neumann raised $70 million with their yogababble drink. More than half of the consideration came from selling GNT. Goddess Nature Token. I hope the company gets an S-1. Or I'll start a decentralized AI Meta Renewable NFTs company. My Community Based Ebitda coin will fund the company. Possible.
Stupidity inside oneself
This weekend, I was in NYC with my boys. My 14-year-old disappeared. He's realized I'm not cool and is mad I let the charade continue. When out with his dad, he likes to stroll home alone and depart before me. Friends told me hell would return, but I was surprised by how fast the eye roll came.
Not so with my 11-year-old. We went to The Edge, a Hudson Yards observation platform where you can see the city from 100 storeys up for $38. This is hell's seventh ring. Leaning into your boys' interests is key to engaging them (dad tip). Neither loves Crossfit, WW2 history, or antitrust law.
We take selfies on the Thrilling Glass Floor he spots. Dad, there's a bar! Coke? I nod, he rushes to the bar, stops, runs back for money, and sprints back. Sitting on stone seats, drinking Atlanta Champagne, he turns at me and asks, Isn't this amazing? I'll never reach paradise.
Later that night, the lads are asleep and I've had two Zacapas and Cokes. I SMS some friends about my day and how I feel about sons/fatherhood/etc. How I did. They responded and approached. The next morning, I'm sober, have distance from my son, and feel ashamed by my texts. Less likely to impulsively share my emotions with others. Stupid again.
11 months ago
The Brilliant Idea Behind Kim Kardashian's New Private Equity Fund
Kim Kardashian created Skky Partners. Consumer products, internet & e-commerce, consumer media, hospitality, and luxury are company targets.
Some call this another Kardashian publicity gimmick.
This maneuver is brilliance upon closer inspection. Why?
1) Kim has amassed a sizable social media fan base:
Over 320 million Instagram and 70 million Twitter users follow Kim Kardashian.
Kim Kardashian's Instagram account ranks 8th. Three Kardashians in top 10 is ridiculous.
This gives her access to consumer data. She knows what people are discussing. Investment firms need this data.
Quality, not quantity, of her followers matters. Studies suggest that her following are more engaged than Selena Gomez and Beyonce's.
Kim's followers are worth roughly $500 million to her brand, according to a research. They trust her and buy what she recommends.
2) She has a special aptitude for identifying trends.
Kim Kardashian can sense trends.
She's always ahead of fashion and beauty trends. She's always trying new things, too. She doesn't mind making mistakes when trying anything new. Her desire to experiment makes her a good business prospector.
Kim has also created a lifestyle brand that followers love. Kim is an entrepreneur, mom, and role model, not just a reality TV star or model. She's established a brand around her appearance, so people want to buy her things.
Her fragrance collection has sold over $100 million since its 2009 introduction, and her Sears apparel line did over $200 million in its first year.
SKIMS is her latest $3.2bn brand. She can establish multibillion-dollar firms with her enormous distribution platform.
Early founders would kill for Kim Kardashian's network.
Making great products is hard, but distribution is more difficult. — David Sacks, All-in-Podcast
3) She can delegate the financial choices to Jay Sammons, one of the greatest in the industry.
Jay Sammons is well-suited to develop Kim Kardashian's new private equity fund.
Sammons has 16 years of consumer investing experience at Carlyle. This will help Kardashian invest in consumer-facing enterprises.
Sammons has invested in Supreme and Beats Electronics, both of which have grown significantly. Sammons' track record and competence make him the obvious choice.
Kim Kardashian and Jay Sammons have joined forces to create a new business endeavor. The agreement will increase Kardashian's commercial empire. Sammons can leverage one of the world's most famous celebrities.
“Together we hope to leverage our complementary expertise to build the next generation consumer and media private equity firm” — Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian is a successful businesswoman. She developed an empire by leveraging social media to connect with fans. By developing a global lifestyle brand, she has sold things and experiences that have made her one of the world's richest celebrities.
She's a shrewd entrepreneur who knows how to maximize on herself and her image.
Imagine how much interest Kim K will bring to private equity and venture capital.
I'm curious about the company's growth.
1 year ago
Is TikTok slowly destroying a new generation?
It's kids' digital crack
TikTok is a destructive social media platform.
The interface shortens attention spans and dopamine receptors.
TikTok shares more data than other apps.
Seeing an endless stream of dancing teens on my glowing box makes me feel like a Blade Runner extra.
TikTok did in one year what MTV, Hollywood, and Warner Music tried to do in 20 years. TikTok has psychotized the two-thirds of society Aldous Huxley said were hypnotizable.
Millions of people, mostly kids, are addicted to learning a new dance, lip-sync, or prank, and those who best dramatize this collective improvisation get likes, comments, and shares.
TikTok is a great app. So what?
The Commercial Magnifying Glass TikTok made me realize my generation's time was up and the teenage Zoomers were the target.
I told my 14-year-old sister, "Enjoy your time under the commercial magnifying glass."
TikTok sells your every move, gesture, and thought. Data is the new oil. If you tell someone, they'll say, "Yeah, they collect data, but who cares? I have nothing to hide."
It's a George Orwell novel's beginning. Look up Big Brother Award winners to see if TikTok won.
TikTok shares your data more than any other social media app, and where it goes is unclear. TikTok uses third-party trackers to monitor your activity after you leave the app.
Consumers can't see what data is shared or how it will be used. — Genius URL
32.5 percent of Tiktok's users are 10 to 19 and 29.5% are 20 to 29.
TikTok is the greatest digital marketing opportunity in history, and they'll use it to sell you things, track you, and control your thoughts. Any of its users will tell you, "I don't care, I just want to be famous."
TikTok manufactures mental illness
TikTok's effect on dopamine and the brain is absurd. Dopamine controls the brain's pleasure and reward centers. It's like a switch that tells your brain "this feels good, repeat."
Dr. Julie Albright, a digital culture and communication sociologist, said TikTok users are "carried away by dopamine." It's hypnotic, you'll keep watching."
TikTok constantly releases dopamine. A guy on TikTok recently said he didn't like books because they were slow and boring.
The US didn't ban Tiktok.
Biden and Trump agree on bad things. Both agree that TikTok threatens national security and children's mental health.
The Chinese Communist Party owns and operates TikTok, but that's not its only problem.
There’s borderline child porn on TikTok
It's unsafe for children and violated COPPA.
It's also Chinese spyware. I'm not a Trump supporter, but I was glad he wanted TikTok regulated and disappointed when he failed.
Full-on internet censorship is rare outside of China, so banning it may be excessive. US should regulate TikTok more.
We must reject a low-quality present for a high-quality future.
TikTok vs YouTube
People got mad when I wrote about YouTube's death.
They didn't like when I said TikTok was YouTube's first real challenger.
Indeed. TikTok is the fastest-growing social network. In three years, the Chinese social media app TikTok has gained over 1 billion active users. In the first quarter of 2020, it had the most downloads of any app in a single quarter.
TikTok is the perfect social media app in many ways. It's brief and direct.
Can you believe they had a YouTube vs TikTok boxing match? We are doomed as a species.
YouTube hosts my favorite videos. That’s why I use it. That’s why you use it. New users expect more. They want something quicker, more addictive.
TikTok's impact on other social media platforms frustrates me. YouTube copied TikTok to compete.
It's all about short, addictive content.
I'll admit I'm probably wrong about TikTok. My friend says his feed is full of videos about food, cute animals, book recommendations, and hot lesbians.
TikTok makes us bad
TikTok is the opposite of what the Ancient Greeks believed about wisdom.
It encourages people to be fake. It's like a never-ending costume party where everyone competes.
It does not mean that Gen Z is doomed.
They could be the saviors of the world for all I know.
TikTok feels like a step towards Mike Judge's "Idiocracy," where the average person is a pleasure-seeking moron.
You might also like
1 year ago
The Apple iPhone 14 Pill is Easier to Swallow
Is iPhone's Dynamic Island invention or a marketing ploy?
First of all, why the notch?
When Apple debuted the iPhone X with the notch, some were surprised, confused, and amused by the goof. Let the Brits keep the new meaning of top-notch.
Apple removed the bottom home button to enhance screen space. The tides couldn't overtake part of the top. This section contained sensors, a speaker, a microphone, and cameras for facial recognition. A town resisted Apple's new iPhone design.
From iPhone X to 13, the notch has gotten smaller. We expected this as technology and engineering progressed, but we hated the notch. Apple approved. They attached it to their other gadgets.
Apple accepted, owned, and ran with the iPhone notch, it has become iconic (or infamous); and that’s intentional.
The Island Where Apple Is
Apple needs to separate itself, but they know how to do it well. The iPhone 14 Pro finally has us oohing and aahing. Life-changing, not just higher pixel density or longer battery.
Dynamic Island turned a visual differentiation into great usefulness, which may not be life-changing. Apple always welcomes the controversy, whether it's $700 for iMac wheels, no charging block with a new phone, or removing the headphone jack.
Apple knows its customers will be loyal, even if they're irritated. Their odd design choices often cause controversy. It's calculated that people blog, review, and criticize Apple's products. We accept what works for them.
While the competition zigs, Apple zags. Sometimes they zag too hard and smash into a wall, but we talk about it anyways, and that’s great publicity for them.
Getting Dependent on the drug
The notch became a crop. Dynamic Island's design is helpful, intuitive, elegant, and useful. It increases iPhone usability, productivity (slightly), and joy. No longer unsightly.
The medication helps with multitasking. It's a compact version of the iPhone's Live Activities lock screen function. Dynamic Island enhances apps and activities with visual effects and animations whether you engage with it or not. As you use the pill, its usefulness lessens. It lowers user notifications and consolidates them with live and permanent feeds, delivering quick app statuses. It uses the black pixels on the iPhone 14's display, which looked like a poor haircut.
The pill may be a gimmick to entice customers to use more Apple products and services. Apps may promote to their users like a live billboard.
Be prepared to get a huge dose of Dynamic Island’s “pill” like you never had before with the notch. It might become so satisfying and addicting to use, that every interaction with it will become habit-forming, and you’re going to forget that it ever existed.
WARNING: A Few Potential Side Effects
Vision blurred Dynamic Island's proximity to the front-facing camera may leave behind grease that blurs photos. Before taking a selfie, wipe the camera clean.
Strained thumb To fully use Dynamic Island, extend your thumb's reach 6.7 inches beyond your typical, comfortable range.
Happiness, contentment The Dynamic Island may enhance Endorphins and Dopamine. Multitasking, interactions, animations, and haptic feedback make you want to use this function again and again.
Motion-sickness Dynamic Island's motions and effects may make some people dizzy. If you can disable animations, you can avoid motion sickness.
I'm not a doctor, therefore they aren't established adverse effects.
Does Dynamic Island Include Multiple Tasks?
Dynamic Islands is a placebo for multitasking. Apple might have compromised on iPhone multitasking. It won't make you super productive, but it's a step up.
iPhone is primarily for personal use, like watching videos, messaging friends, sending money to friends, calling friends about the money you were supposed to send them, taking 50 photos of the same leaf, investing in crypto, driving for Uber because you lost all your money investing in crypto, listening to music and hailing an Uber from a deserted crop field because while you were driving for Uber your passenger stole your car and left you stranded, so you used Apple’s new SOS satellite feature to message your friend, who still didn’t receive their money, to hail you an Uber; now you owe them more money… karma?
We won't be watching videos on iPhones while perusing 10,000-row spreadsheets anytime soon. True multitasking and productivity aren't priorities for Apple's iPhone. Apple doesn't to preserve the iPhone's experience. Like why there's no iPad calculator. Apple doesn't want iPad users to do math, but isn't essential for productivity?
Apple will block certain functions so you must buy and use their gadgets and services, immersing yourself in their ecosystem and dictating how to use their goods.
Dynamic Island is a poor man’s multi-task for iPhone, and that’s fine it works for most iPhone users. For substantial productivity Apple prefers you to get an iPad or a MacBook. That’s part of the reason for restrictive features on certain Apple devices, but sometimes it’s based on principles to preserve the integrity of the product, according to Apple’s definition.
Is Apple using deception?
Dynamic Island may be distracting you from a design decision. The answer is kind of. Elegant distraction
When you pull down a smartphone webpage to refresh it or minimize an app, you get seamless animations. It's not simply because it appears better; it's due to iPhone and smartphone processing speeds. Such limits reduce the system's response to your activity, slowing the experience. Designers and developers use animations and effects to distract us from the time lag (most of the time) and sometimes because it looks cooler and smoother.
Dynamic Island makes apps more useable and interactive. It shows system states visually. Turn signal audio and visual cues, voice assistance, physical and digital haptic feedbacks, heads-up displays, fuel and battery level gauges, and gear shift indicators helped us overcome vehicle design problems.
Dynamic Island is a wonderfully delightful (and temporary) solution to a design “problem” until Apple or other companies can figure out a way to sink the cameras under the smartphone screen.
Apple Has Returned to Being an Innovative & Exciting Company
Now Apple's products are exciting. Next, bring back real Apple events, not pre-recorded demos.
Dynamic Island integrates hardware and software. What will this new tech do? How would this affect device use? Or is it just hype?
Dynamic Island may be an insignificant improvement to the iPhone, but it sure is promising for the future of bridging the human and computer interaction gap.
9 months ago
Creating Images on Your Local PC Using Stable Diffusion AI
Deep learning-based generative art is being researched. As usual, self-learning is better. Some models, like OpenAI's DALL-E 2, require registration and can only be used online, but others can be used locally, which is usually more enjoyable for curious users. I'll demonstrate the Stable Diffusion model's operation on a standard PC.
Let’s get started.
What It Does
Stable Diffusion uses numerous components:
A generative model trained to produce images is called a diffusion model. The model is incrementally improving the starting data, which is only random noise. The model has an image, and while it is being trained, the reversed process is being used to add noise to the image. Being able to reverse this procedure and create images from noise is where the true magic is (more details and samples can be found in the paper).
An internal compressed representation of a latent diffusion model, which may be altered to produce the desired images, is used (more details can be found in the paper). The capacity to fine-tune the generation process is essential because producing pictures at random is not very attractive (as we can see, for instance, in Generative Adversarial Networks).
A neural network model called CLIP (Contrastive Language-Image Pre-training) is used to translate natural language prompts into vector representations. This model, which was trained on 400,000,000 image-text pairs, enables the transformation of a text prompt into a latent space for the diffusion model in the scenario of stable diffusion (more details in that paper).
This figure shows all data flow:
The weights file size for Stable Diffusion model v1 is 4 GB and v2 is 5 GB, making the model quite huge. The v1 model was trained on 256x256 and 512x512 LAION-5B pictures on a 4,000 GPU cluster using over 150.000 NVIDIA A100 GPU hours. The open-source pre-trained model is helpful for us. And we will.
Before utilizing the Python sources for Stable Diffusion v1 on GitHub, we must install Miniconda (assuming Git and Python are already installed):
wget https://repo.anaconda.com/miniconda/Miniconda3-py39_4.12.0-Linux-x86_64.sh chmod +x Miniconda3-py39_4.12.0-Linux-x86_64.sh ./Miniconda3-py39_4.12.0-Linux-x86_64.sh conda update -n base -c defaults conda
Install the source and prepare the environment:
git clone https://github.com/CompVis/stable-diffusion cd stable-diffusion conda env create -f environment.yaml conda activate ldm pip3 install transformers --upgrade
Download the pre-trained model weights next. HiggingFace has the newest checkpoint sd-v14.ckpt (a download is free but registration is required). Put the file in the project folder and have fun:
python3 scripts/txt2img.py --prompt "hello world" --plms --ckpt sd-v1-4.ckpt --skip_grid --n_samples 1
Almost. The installation is complete for happy users of current GPUs with 12 GB or more VRAM. RuntimeError: CUDA out of memory will occur otherwise. Two solutions exist.
Running the optimized version
Try optimizing first. After cloning the repository and enabling the environment (as previously), we can run the command:
python3 optimizedSD/optimized_txt2img.py --prompt "hello world" --ckpt sd-v1-4.ckpt --skip_grid --n_samples 1
Stable Diffusion worked on my visual card with 8 GB RAM (alas, I did not behave well enough to get NVIDIA A100 for Christmas, so 8 GB GPU is the maximum I have;).
Running Stable Diffusion without GPU
If the GPU does not have enough RAM or is not CUDA-compatible, running the code on a CPU will be 20x slower but better than nothing. This unauthorized CPU-only branch from GitHub is easiest to obtain. We may easily edit the source code to use the latest version. It's strange that a pull request for that was made six months ago and still hasn't been approved, as the changes are simple. Readers can finish in 5 minutes:
Replace if attr.device!= torch.device(cuda) with if attr.device!= torch.device(cuda) and torch.cuda.is available at line 20 of ldm/models/diffusion/ddim.py ().
Replace if attr.device!= torch.device(cuda) with if attr.device!= torch.device(cuda) and torch.cuda.is available in line 20 of ldm/models/diffusion/plms.py ().
Replace device=cuda in lines 38, 55, 83, and 142 of ldm/modules/encoders/modules.py with device=cuda if torch.cuda.is available(), otherwise cpu.
Replace model.cuda() in scripts/txt2img.py line 28 and scripts/img2img.py line 43 with if torch.cuda.is available(): model.cuda ().
Run the script again.
Test the model. Text-to-image is the first choice. Test the command line example again:
python3 scripts/txt2img.py --prompt "hello world" --plms --ckpt sd-v1-4.ckpt --skip_grid --n_samples 1
The slow generation takes 10 seconds on a GPU and 10 minutes on a CPU. Final image:
Hello world is dull and abstract. Try a brush-wielding hamster. Why? Because we can, and it's not as insane as Napoleon's cat. Another image:
Generating an image from a text prompt and another image is interesting. I made this picture in two minutes using the image editor (sorry, drawing wasn't my strong suit):
I can create an image from this drawing:
python3 scripts/img2img.py --prompt "A bird is sitting on a tree branch" --ckpt sd-v1-4.ckpt --init-img bird.png --strength 0.8
It was far better than my initial drawing:
I hope readers understand and experiment.
Stable Diffusion UI
Developers love the command line, but regular users may struggle. Stable Diffusion UI projects simplify image generation and installation. Simple usage:
Unpack the ZIP after downloading it from https://github.com/cmdr2/stable-diffusion-ui/releases. Linux and Windows are compatible with Stable Diffusion UI (sorry for Mac users, but those machines are not well-suitable for heavy machine learning tasks anyway;).
Start the script.
Done. The web browser UI makes configuring various Stable Diffusion features (upscaling, filtering, etc.) easy:
V2.1 of Stable Diffusion
I noticed the notification about releasing version 2.1 while writing this essay, and it was intriguing to test it. First, compare version 2 to version 1:
alternative text encoding. The Contrastive LanguageImage Pre-training (CLIP) deep learning model, which was trained on a significant number of text-image pairs, is used in Stable Diffusion 1. The open-source CLIP implementation used in Stable Diffusion 2 is called OpenCLIP. It is difficult to determine whether there have been any technical advancements or if legal concerns were the main focus. However, because the training datasets for the two text encoders were different, the output results from V1 and V2 will differ for the identical text prompts.
a new depth model that may be used to the output of image-to-image generation.
a revolutionary upscaling technique that can quadruple the resolution of an image.
Generally higher resolution Stable Diffusion 2 has the ability to produce both 512x512 and 768x768 pictures.
The Hugging Face website offers a free online demo of Stable Diffusion 2.1 for code testing. The process is the same as for version 1.4. Download a fresh version and activate the environment:
conda deactivate conda env remove -n ldm # Use this if version 1 was previously installed git clone https://github.com/Stability-AI/stablediffusion cd stablediffusion conda env create -f environment.yaml conda activate ldm
Hugging Face offers a new weights ckpt file.
The Out of memory error prevented me from running this version on my 8 GB GPU. Version 2.1 fails on CPUs with the slow conv2d cpu not implemented for Half error (according to this GitHub issue, the CPU support for this algorithm and data type will not be added). The model can be modified from half to full precision (float16 instead of float32), however it doesn't make sense since v1 runs up to 10 minutes on the CPU and v2.1 should be much slower. The online demo results are visible. The same hamster painting with a brush prompt yielded this result:
It looks different from v1, but it functions and has a higher resolution.
The superresolution.py script can run the 4x Stable Diffusion upscaler locally (the x4-upscaler-ema.ckpt weights file should be in the same folder):
python3 scripts/gradio/superresolution.py configs/stable-diffusion/x4-upscaling.yaml x4-upscaler-ema.ckpt
This code allows the web browser UI to select the image to upscale:
The copy-paste strategy may explain why the upscaler needs a text prompt (and the Hugging Face code snippet does not have any text input as well). I got a GPU out of memory error again, although CUDA can be disabled like v1. However, processing an image for more than two hours is unlikely:
Stable Diffusion Limitations
When we use the model, it's fun to see what it can and can't do. Generative models produce abstract visuals but not photorealistic ones. This fundamentally limits The generative neural network was trained on text and image pairs, but humans have a lot of background knowledge about the world. The neural network model knows nothing. If someone asks me to draw a Chinese text, I can draw something that looks like Chinese but is actually gibberish because I never learnt it. Generative AI does too! Humans can learn new languages, but the Stable Diffusion AI model includes only language and image decoder brain components. For instance, the Stable Diffusion model will pull NO WAR banner-bearers like this:
The shot shows text, although the model never learned to read or write. The model's string tokenizer automatically converts letters to lowercase before generating the image, so typing NO WAR banner or no war banner is the same.
I can also ask the model to draw a gorgeous woman:
The first image is gorgeous but physically incorrect. A second one is better, although it has an Uncanny valley feel. BTW, v2 has a lifehack to add a negative prompt and define what we don't want on the image. Readers might try adding horrible anatomy to the gorgeous woman request.
If we ask for a cartoon attractive woman, the results are nice, but accuracy doesn't matter:
Another example: I ordered a model to sketch a mouse, which looks beautiful but has too many legs, ears, and fingers:
V2.1: improved but not perfect.
V1 produces a fun cartoon flying mouse if I want something more abstract:
I tried multiple times with V2.1 but only received this:
The image is OK, but the first version is closer to the request.
Stable Diffusion struggles to draw letters, fingers, etc. However, abstract images yield interesting outcomes. A rural landscape with a modern metropolis in the background turned out well:
Generative models help make paintings too (at least, abstract ones). I searched Google Image Search for modern art painting to see works by real artists, and this was the first image:
I typed "abstract oil painting of people dancing" and got this:
It's a different style, but I don't think the AI-generated graphics are worse than the human-drawn ones.
The AI model cannot think like humans. It thinks nothing. A stable diffusion model is a billion-parameter matrix trained on millions of text-image pairs. I input "robot is creating a picture with a pen" to create an image for this post. Humans understand requests immediately. I tried Stable Diffusion multiple times and got this:
This great artwork has a pen, robot, and sketch, however it was not asked. Maybe it was because the tokenizer deleted is and a words from a statement, but I tried other requests such robot painting picture with pen without success. It's harder to prompt a model than a person.
I hope Stable Diffusion's general effects are evident. Despite its limitations, it can produce beautiful photographs in some settings. Readers who want to use Stable Diffusion results should be warned. Source code examination demonstrates that Stable Diffusion images feature a concealed watermark (text StableDiffusionV1 and SDV2) encoded using the invisible-watermark Python package. It's not a secret, because the official Stable Diffusion repository's test watermark.py file contains a decoding snippet. The put watermark line in the txt2img.py source code can be removed if desired. I didn't discover this watermark on photographs made by the online Hugging Face demo. Maybe I did something incorrectly (but maybe they are just not using the txt2img script on their backend at all).
The Stable Diffusion model was fascinating. As I mentioned before, trying something yourself is always better than taking someone else's word, so I encourage readers to do the same (including this article as well;).
Is Generative AI a game-changer? My humble experience tells me:
I think that place has a lot of potential. For designers and artists, generative AI can be a truly useful and innovative tool. Unfortunately, it can also pose a threat to some of them since if users can enter a text field to obtain a picture or a website logo in a matter of clicks, why would they pay more to a different party? Is it possible right now? unquestionably not yet. Images still have a very poor quality and are erroneous in minute details. And after viewing the image of the stunning woman above, models and fashion photographers may also unwind because it is highly unlikely that AI will replace them in the upcoming years.
Today, generative AI is still in its infancy. Even 768x768 images are considered to be of a high resolution when using neural networks, which are computationally highly expensive. There isn't an AI model that can generate high-resolution photographs natively without upscaling or other methods, at least not as of the time this article was written, but it will happen eventually.
It is still a challenge to accurately represent knowledge in neural networks (information like how many legs a cat has or the year Napoleon was born). Consequently, AI models struggle to create photorealistic photos, at least where little details are important (on the other side, when I searched Google for modern art paintings, the results are often even worse;).
When compared to the carefully chosen images from official web pages or YouTube reviews, the average output quality of a Stable Diffusion generation process is actually less attractive because to its high degree of randomness. When using the same technique on their own, consumers will theoretically only view those images as 1% of the results.
Anyway, it's exciting to witness this area's advancement, especially because the project is open source. Google's Imagen and DALL-E 2 can also produce remarkable findings. It will be interesting to see how they progress.
Peter Steven Ho
1 year ago
Thank You for 21 Fantastic Years, iPod
Apple's latest revelation may shock iPod fans and former owners.
Apple discontinued the iPod touch on May 11, 2022. After 21 years, Apple killed the last surviving iPod, a device Steve Jobs believed would revolutionize the music industry.
Jobs was used to making bold predictions, but few expected Apple's digital music player to change the music industry. It did.
This chaos created new business opportunities. Spotify, YouTube, and Amazon are products of that chaotic era.
As the digital landscape changes, so do consumers, and the iPod has lost favor. I'm sure Apple realizes the importance of removing an icon. The iPod was Apple like the Mac and iPhone. I think it's bold to retire such a key Apple cornerstone. What would Jobs do?
iPod evolution across the ages
Here's an iPod family tree for all you enthusiasts.
iPod vintage (Oct 2001 to Sep 2014, 6 generations)
The original iPod had six significant upgrades since 2001. Apple announced an 80 GB ($249) and 160 GB ($349) iPod classic in 2007.
Apple updated the 80 GB model with a 120 GB device in September 2008. Apple upgraded the 120 GB model with a 160 GB variant a year later (2009). This was the last iteration, and Apple discontinued the classic in September 2014.
iPod nano (Jan 2004 to Sep 2005, 2 generations)
Apple debuted a smaller, brightly-colored iPod in 2004. The first model featured 4 GB, enough for 1,000 songs.
Apple produced a new 4 GB or 6 GB iPod mini in February 2005 and discontinued it in September when they released a better-looking iPod nano.
iTouch nano (Sep 2005 to July 2017, 7 generations)
I loved the iPod nano. It was tiny and elegant with enough tech to please most music aficionados, unless you carry around your complete music collection.
Apple owed much of the iPod nano's small form and success to solid-state flash memory. Flash memory doesn't need power because it has no moving parts. This makes the iPod nano more durable than the iPod classic and mini, which employ hard drives.
Apple manufactured seven generations of the iPod nano, improving its design, display screen, memory, battery, and software, but abandoned it in July 2017 due to dwindling demand.
Shuffle iPod (Jan 2005 to Jul 2017, 4 generations)
The iPod shuffle was entry-level. It was a simple, lightweight, tiny music player. The iPod shuffle was perfect for lengthy bike trips, runs, and hikes.
Apple sold 10 million iPod shuffles in the first year and kept making them for 12 years, through four significant modifications.
iOS device (Sep 2007 to May 2022, 7 generations)
The iPod touch's bigger touchscreen interface made it a curious addition to the iPod family. The iPod touch resembled an iPhone more than the other iPods, making them hard to tell apart.
Many were dissatisfied that Apple removed functionality from the iPod touch to avoid making it too similar to the iPhone. Seven design improvements over 15 years brought the iPod touch closer to the iPhone, but not completely.
The iPod touch uses the same iOS operating system as the iPhone, giving it access to many apps, including handheld games.
The iPod touch's long production run is due to the next generation of music-loving gamers.
What made the iPod cool
iPod revolutionized music listening. It was the first device to store and play MP3 music, allowing you to carry over 1,000 songs anywhere.
The iPod changed consumer electronics with its scroll wheel and touchscreen. Jobs valued form and function equally. He showed people that a product must look good to inspire an emotional response and ignite passion.
The elegant, tiny iPod was a tremendous sensation when it arrived for $399 in October 2001. Even at this price, it became a must-have for teens to CEOs.
It's hard to identify any technology that changed how music was downloaded and played like the iPod. Apple iPod and iTunes had 63% of the paid music download market in the fourth quarter of 2012.
The demise of the iPod was inevitable
Apple discontinuing the iPod touch after 21 years is sad. This ends a 00s music icon.
Jobs was a genius at anticipating market needs and opportunities, and Apple launched the iPod at the correct time.
Few consumer electronics items have had such a lasting impact on music lovers and the music industry as the iPod.
Smartphones and social media have contributed to the iPod's decline. Instead of moving to the music, the new generation of consumers is focused on social media. They're no longer passive content consumers; they're active content creators seeking likes and followers. Here, the smartphone has replaced the iPod.
It's hard not to feel a feeling of loss, another part of my adolescence now forgotten by the following generation.
So, if you’re lucky enough to have a working iPod, hang on to that relic and enjoy the music and the nostalgia.