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Someone Asked A.I. What Medusa Really Looked Like and She’s Breathtaking

Medusa’s story is a complicated one.

The latest trend sweeping TikTok is to run code on an A.I. painting bot and “ask it” to draw various things based on the parameters you read it. Depending on its coding, the machine will create a digital painting predicated on particular artist’s styles. The way artificial intelligence art creation programs work is that programmers give the A.I. a series of prompts, telling them to make an image to either match or avoid certain subjects. By refining the prompts, they can “code” the A.I. to produce particular images.

Depending on the A.I. program used, the images can be drawn using all manner of datasets, drawing from many artists, both living and dead, to create its supposedly original art.


In this case, the program was asked to draw Medusa, a mythological figure from Classical Greece said to be a creature with snakes for hair. Along with her sisters, the Gorgons, Medusa was said to have had the power to turn a man to stone if he looked in her eyes. (This, one imagines, is one that many artist might like to use on whoever made these A.I. drawing programs.)

It is important to remember when looking at these images that the art being created merely encoded amalgamations of other, existing art and the framework the A.I. has been given. It is not a prophet, nor, really is it an original creation. Many living artists are against these A.I. programs because they view the machines as stealing from their own creative output, and several stock photo sites have already banned A.I.-created art from heir databases due to this illegal scraping of existing art to form its base programming.