The Great American Road Trip (According to AI)
From California Highway 1 to the Motor City, these are driving destinations created by AI (and me)
Can Artificial Intelligence create a postcard of a place that doesn’t exist, using images from places that do?
Using AI as a kind of search tool, I was curious how closely it could capture the spirit of a place, like a postcard does.
The typical postcard isn’t as real as it may appear. For instance, Vox recently dove into why a large postcard producer, Dexter Press, had printed the same sky above many different locations.
From artists painting out adjacent buildings to street furniture like light poles and trash cans, the intent of a traditional postcard isn’t realism—it’s beauty. Curiosity. Wonder. Enough, at least, to inspire a visit or to appear a safe bet for road-worn travelers.
Images returned from search results are no different.
Here, AI is interpreting images we’ve already captured in these places and, arguably, is either stealing from those images or adding another pass of touch-ups on top. (I’ll explain the process of iteration in a moment.) Because of the very basic prompt and …
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