I’ve been talking a lot to other authors about Artificial Intelligence (AI), and how it is starting to move in on the indie publishing industry.
One of the posts I put up on Medium recently was about the first AI designed magazine cover, by Cosmopolitan. It was written for authors but you, as a reader, might still find it interesting.
All of us at Stories Rule Press have been playing around with the public, free portal to Craiyon, the AI that built the Cosmopolitan cover. The version the magazine used was more highly trained than the public portal, and quite likely not free, but the free portal gives you an idea of what the editors must have faced when designing their cover.
So I tried designing the artwork for a romance cover.
That was interesting.
My first few efforts were abysmal and not worth showing you. I had to play around with keywords to start getting the effect I wanted. And, unfortunately, Craiyon is still not very good with faces. So, I started looking for the sort of head-chopped-off artwork that you can still find on book covers here and there.
My fifth try gave me these variations:
Hey, there’s even a threesome in there!
These don’t look…spectacular. But when you consider a computer designed them from the pixel up — not photo stock manipulations, but pure art — you start to appreciate the AI’s grasp of the essentials of a romance cover.
Also unfortunate; the generator only provides square covers.
SRP author Cameron Cooper was also jigging around with the generator, trying to make it make a science fiction cover. Cam took the time and trouble to crop down the image with the most potential and made up a mock cover. You can see that effort here.
I also kept playing with it, and came up with a piece of artwork (alas, still square) that could, with a bit of a stretch, be used for a romance novel cover:
Like Cameron, I don’t think that AI covers are going to take over Romanceland any time soon.