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Someone told artificial intelligence to create NHL mascots and the results were horrifying

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David Quadrelli
9 months ago
Artificial intelligence is rapidly growing, and it’s a growingly undeniable part of our future. You’ve heard the conversations surrounding AI before.
“Artificial intelligence is like a wild beast, man,” your friend at the bar tells you. “Sure, it’s been created by humans, but it’s got a mind of its own. It’s like a Frankenstein monster, but instead of bolts in its neck, it’s got a bunch of circuits and wires. It’s this wild, untamed thing that’s capable of doing some incredible stuff, but it’s also capable of turning on us and wreaking havoc. It’s like a wild stallion that we’ve got to tame, but we don’t quite yet know for certain if we’re going to be able to do it. I don’t know man, it’s freaky stuff!”
While some of that may be true, what we’re seeing the general public use AI for right now is a lot more innocent than that. Videos of US Presidents arguing over which Vancouver adult entertainment club to visit, those same presidents playing Minecraft, and of course, Auston Matthews honestly telling everyone that the Leafs are definitely getting swept by the Panthers. (Warning: Coarse language)
Beyond that, AI is used in self-driving cars, voice assistants like Google Home, Siri, and Alexa, and is even used in medicine to help diagnose diseases. Almost like the Swiss Army of technology, it seems like humans ask AI to do something new each week.
And this week, one man has simply pushed the boundaries a bit too far.
Earlier this week, professional poker player Garry Gates published a thread on Twitter that went viral. In the thread, Gates published the results of him asking AI software Midjourney to create mascots for every National Hockey League club. Dear reader, the results were delightfully horrifying.
It wasn’t uncommon for the AI to spit out entirely different and nonsensical words on the teams’ jerseys, which should only be looked at as a victory for the humans. The Washington Capitals had some fun with their “mascot”, which had some especially unfortunate language right across the crest of their jersey.
To produce these nightmarish images, Gates says he plugged in the same prompt for every mascot to start. A mascot for a team called the (city and team name here).
“From there, it’s a bit of a creative process,” Gates, a resident of Las Vegas, told CanucksArmy. “Generating tons of versions, finding one that’s funny, witty, clever, engaging, and then requesting more variations of that.”
For the Canucks, the AI spit out a whale-type creature (with human teeth?) with the word “Cavivees” written on its jersey. The backdrop is a dull-looking office space — do with that what you will.
Some of the mascots were particularly frightening, but the Dallas Stars’ has to take the cake for the one you’d most likely cross the street to avoid if you saw it walking toward you. What the hell is that thing it’s holding atop its severed hockey stick?
My personal favourite out of the bunch has to be the Edmonton Oilers’ mascot, which is still somehow less horrific than their actual mascot, Hunter.

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