I have been playing with some AI tools recently, just to see how good they are. There are different ones. Some produce text output and some produce graphical output. It is the latter one that interests me. As an experiment, I asked Midjourney, a generative AI application, to show me what a typical Brighton resident looks like. As you can see from the above picture, it nailed it pretty well. The buildings look like Brighton architecture though 2 and 3 appear to be down by the seafront somewhere. As for the characters, well, I think we have all seen them walking around town.

The top left is a character I like to call Gerald. He was a doctor from Hove but has retired but still gets up every morning, picks up his medicine bag and pops down the Salvation Army for tea and biscuits.

The top right is Sash. He came for a weekend clubbing in the early ’00s and never left. Actually, he has been wandering around Kemptown and Hanover dressed like this for the last 20 years trying to find his way out.

The bottom left is Dave and he is born and bred in Brighton and wants you to know it. Possibly sniffed a bit too much glue in the ’70s. Works at one of the Universities in a non-arts-related role.

Finally, Hamish can be found living in a tent down by the beach somewhere. The weather is preferable to Scotland so he doesn’t mind that much.

How does it work? Imagine if you got every picture on the internet labelled “brighton resident” or words to that effect. Stick them in the digital mincer and each of these is an example of what would come out.

*Not really.

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