Travelling With an AI

A guest post from Marion M. As a military brat, I’ve been the kid on some of those interminable road trips, and have hauled my own along on a few all-day treks as well. Travel games are a thing… and this is a very creative one! You can find part one of my unorthodox ways to turn artificial intelligence into useful assistants here. 


Around about the end of July, Cedar and a few other friends started posting their creations from a new AI app called Midjourney, affectionately known as Midj. My life was going crazy sideways nuts with a surprise quick move to several states away, prefect thing to pick up a new addictive hobby. After testing it out, and quickly blowing through my twenty trial images, I bought a $10 subscription. It was supposed to be just something fun for me to do, a little light art therapy to do before bed, as a treat for surviving the day, but then I printed out one of my favorite images, and my kids discovered Midj.

(One of my first images, and still one of my favorites)
Magical Staircase (two rounds of variations)

Prompt words: stairway, magical forest, beautiful, stunning, breathtaking, mirrors, glass, magic circle, magic doorway, fantasy, stained glass, bioluminescence,

The teenager was the first to really get into making images with me, and it has turned into this great bonding time with him. We’d sit at the dining table and make images for fun over breakfast, or use a bit of Midj time as a reward for getting a math lesson finished, or a paper finished. It’s been lovely to teach him how to use the technology and how to structure prompts, and just do something fun and artistic together, even with all the art supplies packed away.

Master Dog (four or five rounds of variations)

Prompt words: star wars, dog, in the style of Leonardo da Vinci

After the teenager started making images with me, I upgraded to the $30 a month unlimited package so we wouldn’t run into any issues and we could both get our art fix.
At this point, the preschooler enjoyed seeing the images, but wasn’t interested in creating anything, but that all changed on our last of three long multi-day road trips in August.  She is not really the best traveler in the car, and on this particular day, it was all just too much. She hated everything, from her carseat, to chocolate, to the color pink…. An epic meltdown was imminent, and suddenly I thought to ask her if she wanted to make pictures on the phone? She thought this was a great idea. So, the teenager was the prompt typer and phone holder, and we each gave him three words. Then she got to pick out which picture she wanted to do a variation on, or if she wanted to put in new words. This was a wonderful novel new game for her! Here was one thing which she could controll and make fun things with! We got about 150 miles of peace and giggles out of the back seat. It was great to see her having fun, in spite of being in the car. Tthe teenager got to make his little sister laugh, and practice his spelling at the same time!
 Hank, hum, see, blue circle, dog boat 
see W grass, green tree, cloud, farmhouse, pickup truck
see XHW
Variation on see XHW
Cat on a 50 tv, looking at me, in Blake and wight