This AI art is the stuff of nightmares

A lot of fingers
(Image credit: Stable Diffusion / Andy Baio)

AI art is causing a stir in the art world right now, but if these latest 'art works' are anything to go by it's our stomachs that are being tested. It has been said that AI art generators could threaten the careers of artists and issues with copyright persists with this technology. But that's not the whole story, some of this AI art is just truly the stuff of nightmares.

Not everything created by AI art generators is impressive, and while many creatives are asking 'should designers be worried about AI?', looking at some of the images being made we're not sure they should be too concerned. As the likes of DALLE-2 become accessible and open to all, we're going to get some strange results popping out of these art generators. (There's some fun to be had too, as Marvels Russo Brothers recently 'remade' The Avengers as directed by Wes Anderson, using Midjourney.)

Twitter user Andy Baio (opens in new tab) has gathered some of the biggest AI art horrors on his feed, pulling images from a Stable Diffusion Discord channel dedicated to 'failed diffusions', and some are just, well… horrible. Scroll down to see some of the best of the worst AI art.

AI art failures: the worst (best)

(Image: © Stable Diffusion)

"I just want a frog please!" Writes creator SurprisingPancake in the Discord feed. If you're not a fan of eyes or suffer from Ommetaphobia, scroll now… fast.

(Image: © Stable Diffusion)

What? Not only does this woman have too many feet and far too many toes, they seem to be mushrooms. Also, she has no arms. 

(Image: © Stable Diffusion)

So. Many. Fingers. It's not that this image has far too many fingers, it's the bendy nature of them that's making me queasy. 

(Image: © Stable Diffusion / Roope Rainisto)

It's not just the fingers, look closely. Why does this model have weird shark teeth?

(Image: © Stable Diffusion)

Stretchy limbs that morph together in a whimsical gothic portrait. Actually, this could be a Kate Bush album cover.

(Image: © Stable Diffusion)

She'll need to wash that man right outta her hair. Seriously, though, I think sometimes AI art generators are too literal.

(Image: © Stable Diffusion)

What prompts were used for this mess of limbs and branches? "Jibberish," says its creator in Discord. The description reads "squirming determination of worms" and "cereal fungus". Quite.


(Image: © Stable Diffusion)

Where does this yoga figure start and end? Which is their front and back? Anatomy is not Stable Diffusion's best quality. I'm disturbed. But also, I can't not look.

(Image: © Stable Diffusion)

What do you call a man with a bird on his head? Cliff. Yeah, that joke works about as well as this 'art'.

(Image: © Stable Diffusion / Hydra)

According to its creator, 'Hydra', these prompts put a masked face on a woman's hips: "1girl, reaper, overwatch,, alternate costume, facepaint, crop top hoodie, thong panties, solo, highres, midriff, small boobs, thighhighs, art by artgerm and greg rutkowski and alphonse mucha, punisher mask."

While everyone's general reaction is to reach for the sick bin, some on Twitter are more lenient, and even view the mishaps of AI generated art as successes. There's an argument these peculiar interpretations of people and nature demonstrate the very AI-ness, the computerised logic, of digital art,

On Twitter, Richard Freedman replied to Baio's post with: "Make[s] me uneasy. But I like most of them. Not gonna say its "good". Certainly not gonna say its "art". It's one of the most interesting things that's happening in this nutty world. That's what it is."

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Ian Dean is Digital Arts & Design Editor at Creative Bloq, and the former editor of many leading magazines. These titles included ImagineFX, 3D World and leading video game title Official PlayStation Magazine. In his early career he wrote for music and film magazines including Uncut and SFX. Ian launched Xbox magazine X360 and edited PlayStation World. For Creative Bloq, Ian combines his love to bring the latest news on NFTs, video game art and tech, and more to Creative Bloq, and in his spare time he doodles in Corel Painter, ArtRage, and Rebelle while finding time to play Xbox and PS5.