• Midjourney Has Got Even More Racist

    I haven’t been on Midjourney in months now, through a mixture of ethical concerns and, to be honest, sheer boredom. After a while, that whole AI look for everything gets wearing. And you can spot it, a mile away. There’s just something… uncanny valley going on. Even without humans in the images.

    I had a phase of trying to generate Indian Marvel heroes, sci-fi stars etcetera because they don’t exist in real life. I was trying to create the representation of ethnic groups that I would love to see in reality. One day… maybe.

    I also created a vamp dream team:

    Even back when I was last on, MJ was racist. The default ethnicity was white, unless you specified otherwise. White was the normal, the default, the not weird. In this, Midjourney was a perfect reflection of the racism of Western society.

    I went back on tonight and tried to create a standard thing for me: an Indian woman in a spacesuit. But MJ wasn’t having it, not version 6. Here’s what it gave me:

    I couldn’t try out version 3, the one I made the vamps with. The furthest back I could go was 5.1. That gave me this:

    Again, a bit too much emphasis on beauty and youth but at least these women look South Asian. The ones that MJ generates now really don’t.

    As a test, I changed the ethnicity but used exactly the same prompt:

    Sooo… v.5.1, no problem! How about version 6 of Midjourney?

    Oho! Okay, more youth and beauty bias but… at least they have dark skin!

    What is going on, Midjourney? Why do you refuse to generate Indian women in spacesuits? Hold on, let me test something.

    What the hell? You’re not even allowing us to be doctors? C’mon now! I mean, I guess the top right could be South Asian, at a push, but she looks more Middle Eastern to my eyes. The other three are definitely all called Becky.

    Hmmm…

    Something, somewhere has gone very wrong with Midjourney’s training of its AI. AIs were always going to be racist because their creators are. I had hoped that the best researchers would acknowledge their biases and adjust their training accordingly.

    But Midjourney has got objectively worse in that it won’t generate a very simple prompt, it refuses to generate it and goes, ‘Here, you must mean white women in spacesuits as no Indian women are ever in spacesuits, what a ridiculous proposition!’

    With the increasing force-feeding of AI into every aspect of our lives, this increasing bias, this increasing racism within one of the most popular AI generative apps is worrying.

    What does it signify about the larger state of AIs in general and the people in charge of them?


  • Sad On Sad

    Been a lot of not good stuff happening lately. Some of it is not mine to talk about but some of it, like my Mummy’s dementia, is.

    (I’m not going to go off into a whole thing about dementia now because that’s too big. And too horrible.)

    I keep having dreams where I’m talking to someone and they ask me something and as I start explaining or answering them, a great dam bursts inside me, a dam that was holding back all the sadness of stuff currently in my life.

    In my conscious life, this dam is a Hoover motherfucker, it is redoubtable, it is immense, it is trustworthy and even certified earthquake and meteor-strike hardy.

    In my dreams, not so much.

    I feel like my quisling brain gets tired from masking all day, particularly to myself and then realises it’s dreaming so simply lets that seemingly impregnable dam turn into kitchen roll and soggy cornflakes.

    Everything behind it smashes outwards and in the dream I start weeping and then I wake up and I’m still weeping but this time it’s actually real.

    For a minute or so, I’m panicking and trying to squash back all the sadness, all the loneliness, all the despair.

    It seems impossible, it seems foolish to even try.

    But as I appear to be the world’s most adept Vulcan, I turn the tide and brick it all up again. The sneak attack by my treacherous subconscious has been thwarted once again, hurrah!

    If you saw me in the street, if you chat to me, you would never guess this whole battle is going on.

    And that makes me wonder:

    How many people do I know who are going through the same battles as I do every single day?

    If you are going through the same absolute bullshit, hugs to you.


  • Derby & Burton 76 Years Of Nakba Protest 11/5/24

    I haven’t been well enough to go to recent protests but I managed to make it to the one today in Derby, organised jointly with Burton PSC to mark 76 years since the Nakba:

    The Nakba (Arabic: ?????? an-Nakbah, lit.?’The Catastrophe’) was the ethnic cleansing[2] of Palestinians in Mandatory Palestine during the 1948 Palestine war through their violent displacement and dispossession of land, property, and belongings, along with the devastation of their society, cultureidentity, political rights, and national aspirations.[3] The term is also used to describe the ongoing persecution and displacement of Palestinians by Israel.[4] As a whole, it covers the fracturing of Palestinian society and the long-running rejection of the right of return for Palestinian refugees and their descendants.[5][6]

    During the Nakba in 1948, approximately half of Palestine’s predominantly Arab population, or around 750,000 people,[7] were expelled from their homes or made to flee, at first by Zionistparamilitaries through various violent means, and after the establishment of the State of Israel, by the Israel Defense Forces. This occurred in the wake of dozens of massacres targeting Palestinian Arabs and the depopulation of 500 Arab-majority towns and villages,[8] with many of these being either completely destroyed or repopulated by Jews and given new Hebrew names. By the end of the war, 78% of the total land area of the former Mandatory Palestine was controlled by Israel and at least 15,000 Palestinian Arabs had been killed.[9][10]

    Source: Wikipedia

    Here’s some pics from today:

    13 - Derby & Burton 76 Years Of Nakba Protest 11-5-24
    The turnout was good but the most heartening thing was that when the march returned to the starting point after doing a tour of Derby, it was at least twice as big, so many people had joined in on the way.

    Ordinary people who see through the West’s lies and double standards, who know that hospitals, schools, journalists, civilians and babies are not legitimate military targets.


  • Garden Macros May 2024

    Intrepid Shield Bug

    Click through for some sunny garden pics I took an hour or so ago.


  • Godzilla Minus One

    I’m having to watch # GodzillaMinusOne (#???-1.0??????, #GojiraMainasuWan) in chunks cos it’s just making me cry too much.

    The contrast between this film and the sub-video-game-cutscene bilge currently doing the rounds is astonishing. The last time Hollywood Gojira had any real heart was when Bryan Cranston was in it – TEN years ago.

    I actually fell asleep to Godzilla: King Of The Monsters… at the Leicester Square IMAX. It was that dull.

    Whereas G-1, fuck me… it’s too gripping!