New Kickstarter Coming: Five Seven Five!

I’m really happy to be Kickstarting a new project. Starting next week, you’ll be able to back:

Five Seven Five

Science fictional

examinations of the

elusive haiku.

Which is a project I undertook specifically to play around with both haiku and one of those nifty artificial intelligence art generators.

The concept came about in a bit of a flash: write haiku and use those haiku as prompts for the AI. Like most creatives these days, my newsfeeds and social media channels are filled with noise about the AI movement. So my brain was already thinking a lot about AI art and AI text generators and whatnot. I was also thinking about the Kickstarter 100 program, which is a really fun promotional process they run. The final domino fell as I was looking at past notes and saw reference to a little haiku I wrote back in the day.


Let’s see what the AI generator will do if we use haiku as prompts.

It was massive fun, made even better when I decided that all my haiku would be focused (naturally) on science fictional concepts.

The result is both beautiful and interesting, regardless of whether you look at it on a device, or in paperback or hardback—all of which will be available through the project (or simply through pr-order on various retailer sites soon).

Follow the project here.

I’m not sure where to put it in context of the larger conversation around the use of AI in creative pursuits. The collaborative nature of the project was interesting to me. What could the AI create with what can sometimes be opaque inputs? How would those outputs change my writing? Is there peanut butter in my chocolate, or is that chocolate in my peanut butter? In process, I found it even more interesting to think through the selection of art from the options the AI generated. Sometimes the haiku was so dense the AI had no clue. In those cases I found it tantalizing to decide how to add enough information to get something that worked to illustrate the actual concept behind the text but constraining it enough that the output was still surprising.

To me, anyway.

Because it may or may not be relevant to some, I should note that at no time did I use any artists’ name in the generation of the artwork. This book is, of course, about the use of AI in the creative process—meaning its entire conceit is to see what happens when we use AI art in the state is was in late 2022. I’m not insensitive to visual artists’ concerns and angst over the use of their work in training these systems. I’ve written earlier on how I expect the world to go, but who the heck am I, right? Anyone who says they know beyond doubt what the future will bring in this area is probably misguided. My intention was not to create work anyone else would do, but to leave the AI free to roam inside the words of the haiku itself.

The project was amazing fun, though. I’ve got a paperback proof sitting on my desk as I type, and I’ve got to say that of all the proofs I’ve ever gotten, this is the one I keep going back to simply to enjoy. Some of that may be reiterated in the fact that Lisa got so interested in Five Seven Five as the read through it, she wrote me an unrequested Foreword, which I immediately included.

Hopefully, you’ll find it just as interesting!

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