4.2 Gigabytes, or: How to Draw Anything – ⌨️🤷🏻♂️📷:
That’s the size of the model that has made this recent explosion possible.
4.2 gigabytes of floating points that somehow encode so much of what we know.
Yes, I’m waxing poetic here. No, I am not heralding the arrival of AGI, or our AI overlords. I am simply admiring the beauty of it, while it is fresh and new.
Because it won’t be fresh and new for long. This thing I’m feeling is not much different from how I felt using email for the first time – “Grandma got my message already? In Florida? In seconds?” It was the nearest thing to magic my child-self had ever seen. Now email is the most boring and mundane part of my day.
There is already much talk about practical uses. Malicious uses. Downplaying. Up playing. Biases. Monetization. Democratization – which is really just monetization with a more marketable name.
I’m not trying to get into any of that here. I’m just thinking about those 4.2 gigabytes. How small it seems, in today’s terms. Such a little bundle that holds so much.
How many images, both real photos and fictional art, were crammed through the auto-encoder, that narrower and narrower funnel of information, until some sort of meaning was distilled from them? How many times must a model be taught to de-noise an image until it understands what makes a tiger different from a leopard? I guess now we know.
And now I suppose we ride the wave until this new magic is both as widely used, and boring, as email. So it goes.
[I’ve seen a lot of cool stuff created with the new AI art tools. Remarkable stuff.]