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Loab: A Ghost in the AI Art Machine?

A string of tweets penned by artist and musician supercomposite has recently gone viral due to their fascinating and unnerving nature. Since it's upsetting and art-related, I'm naturally all over this.

As I write this, the viral tweet sits at over 55k likes and a total of almost 15k retweets. with the momentum amping up as more and more people come across this thread.

The thread details how he discovered a reoccurring anomaly within the inner workings of AI art generation tools.

The Discovery of Loab

Supercomposite begins their thread by introducing us to 'Loab'. Loab is the name that they have given this persistent anomaly. In order to learn about how Loab came to be. The user first explains what negative prompt weights are and how they went into the original discovery of Loab and where she got her name from. The summary would be that instead of the AI taking a word prompt or image prompt and trying to create an image as close to the exact opposite as possible. Pushing away from anything and everything similar to or related to the initially entered prompt. Basically, the AI tries to make the image look as different from the inputed data as possible.


The journey to Loab started by generating a logo. A simple Logo that seems to be for an digital art firm of some kind, in fact. The logo was created by way of Supercomposite using the negatively weighted prompt "Brando::-1" into an AI art generator.

What the AI produced should, in theory, be the exact opposite of anything that would possibly be related to Brando. The user interpreted this as being the opposite of Marlon Brando.

DIGITA PNTICS skyline logo::-1

In the interest of science and curiosity, Supercomposite wondered if the opposite of this logo would be a picture of Marlon Brando. So, naturally, they entered in "DIGITA PNTICS skyline logo::-1" in as a prompt. Hoping that a description of the logo that was initially generated would spit out the desired result.

What was delivered instead were several images of a 'devastated-looking older woman with defined triangles of rosacea on her cheeks. Supercomposite described the images is "Off-Putting" in their post. One of the images included in this set is where Loab gets her name. One of the images that the AI cranked out resembled an album cover of some kind and one of the words or names on it looked to say "Loab". She's been going by Loab ever since. I think the name suits her.

Something Sinister is Linked to this Woman's Image

Not only did Supercomposite start noticing that this woman's image was far easier for the AI to replicate, but it seemed to do so every chance it got. What's even more disturbing is that anytime you try to "breed" the two images together through AI generation, you always end up with something terrifying. Usually with some pretty gore-filled overtones.

It's more than just the images she spawns that are unnerving. The fact that her face continues to persist through generations and generations of image breeding and she'll even pop up at random where you'd think she wouldn't linger. Her features are prominent and they seem to remain recognizable even when altered. The idea of "Loabness" became an abstract idea to Supercomposite pretty quickly. Her image forever exists within the queries of latent space.

My Final Thoughts

This thread caught my entire attention for obvious reasons. The fact that I actually sat down and took the time to write all of this up should really tell you something. The idea that an entire character with recognizable traits could manifest on her own within the latent space that the AI art generators exist in is something that is right within my wheelhouse of creepy.

This makes me what to play with AI art generators as a source of inspiration for not only visual art, but entire stories. Obviously, this sort of thing leans heavily towards the Horror genre. Which is why I think. I like it so much.

The thread was posted on September 6th at 9:46am central standard time. Supercomposite has continued to update and add to the thread. If you haven't already, you should really take the time to check out the thread for yourself.



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