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⚔️ Making Desi Memes With My Cousin Using ChatGPT and DALL-E 2
In this episode we jump into AI tools to conjure up very real situations for south asian kids growing up in modern america
Being a desi kid in America is hard. Now what exactly is “desi” you ask?
*types furiously into chat prompt*
ChatGPT: “Desi" is a term that refers to the culture, people, or products of South Asia, including countries such as India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. It is often used to refer to people who are from these countries or who have ancestry from these regions.
Point is it’s tough being a desi kid — you have to do well in school and in your hobbies. And while you do have some choices — it’s between becoming a doctor, lawyer, or engineer. Of course growing up we all seem to go through some interesting rites of passage.
Fast forward to December, and I’m spending time with my cousin Maneet Khaira, Forbes 30 Under 30 CEO of Backbone, backed by Mr. Beast and out to disrupt mobile gaming. We decide to give DALLE-2 to ultimate test — prompting it to conjure up these relatable, awkward and sometimes hilarious situations desi kids have to experience growing up in America.
1/ Let’s start easy: "An Indian uncle hanging out next to the entrance of the house at a Christmas party you didn't want to go to at 7pm on a Saturday and he asks about your GPA"
Immediate reaction: Why is this so darn accurate! I’m imagining the vast majority of imagery of Indian Christmas parties is probably from the USA, so we’re getting some pretty real results 💀 😭
2/ Let’s start building a scene with real emotion: to really add the complexity in the composition we ask Chat GPT to write an elaborate prompt describing the prompt used previously. Here’s the result fed into DALL-E2:
“Create a portrait of an Indian uncle standing at the entrance of a house at a bustling Christmas party. He is smiling and engaging with a younger person, asking about their GPA. The younger person has a look of resignation on their face, perhaps sighing in response to the question. The setting is vibrant and festive, with decorations and guests filling the background.
We’re uncontrollably laughing at this point. The composition and the emoting of the characters is too freaking good. A little uncanniness for sure in the faces — but that’s a known limitation of DALL-E. The uncles eagerness to know, the look of resignation on the kids — it’s all spot on. More hilariously, the bottom right character almost looks like Maneet too 😁
3/ For the final challenge, let’s see if this AI can gauge Indian uncle reactions accurately: As we’ve established previously — there’s an expectation of desi kids to go down a set of pre-defined paths. Now while they can take them those paths as creatively as possible, there’s a clear bias towards some professions over others.
So let’s see what happens when we ask DALL-E to imagine the following:
“an indian uncle after you tell him you switched majors from mechanical engineering to sociology and south asian studies”
Good lord! Uncle ji is astonished, surprised and clearly disappointed in such a rash decision 🤣 — the look of consternation is certainly one my cousin and I can deeply relate to. Sure son, you can become an artist, but go become an engineer first. I momentary ponder my own existence and then go back to laughing.
Assisted creation with AI for the lulz
It’s pretty clear. Using ChatGPT and DALL-E 2 in combination is pure gold for making epic, relatable memes. Don’t just laugh with me. I encourage you to try the same combination and explore your own experiences and do it with your friends and family. It’s quite a lot of fun, and the speed of exploring ideas with instant results is prime for your own laughter fest.
That brings us to the end of this weekly edition of creative technology digest. See you next weekend!
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