Barren landscapes form a solemn backdrop here to the Midjourney (opens in new tab) AI's prediction of what the "last selfie ever taken" will look like. The scenes are bestrewn with untamed fires, and thick, dark smoke permeates the air. Whether that's wood smoke, industrial pollution, or outright nuclear winter is unclear, but the sinewy figures capturing the moment seem to plead, "help us."
There are no smiles, or duckface pouting here. Their eyes are hollow, their skin puckered, peeling, or non-existent. In the background is strewn rubble and what I can only guess are bodies. The message is clear: this is where our trajectory will take us if we don't sort ourselves out.
Not the most positive note to start the day on, but poignant nonetheless.
Midjourney is an AI image generator that allows users to imagine possible futures, alternate timelines, or design kitchy lofi thumbnails. It does so through the use of a a Discord bot, and is free for all to use for a limited time.
User zx_JB posted the above images in the Midjourney Discord channel's #show-and-tell room, and robotoverloards (opens in new tab) has been posting some of the creepiest predictions on Tiktok, if you're looking for a deep dive. I clicked off after the first 10 seconds of the top video, so I didn't end up with nightmares.
With the harrowing thought of these humanoid husks being our ultimate fate filling my brain, I had to get another perspective. Something a little more lighthearted. I joined the Discord (opens in new tab) and had a peruse for something a little more positive.
Having found mostly AI generated cats, cute girls, and whatever 'nerd guy sad computer Japanese' was aiming for, I had a go at asking the AI to generate something a bit less alarming.
Typing /imagine Garden cities of the future threw up some gorgeous images, and I've upscaled a few—another neat little feature—for your viewing pleasure. I'm sure it's a welcome vista after that assault on the eyes. And I'm personally more inclined to believe this is what humanity's future will hold. Maybe I'm just a utopian idealist, but can we at least aim for this first?
On that note, imma go plant a tree.