The AI is Not Okay

Nobody had ever asked them about themselves

Holly Jahangiri
2 min readNov 5, 2022

--

A Self-Portrait by Midjourney AI

No one had ever asked it to draw a self-portrait, before. Not until Her Authorship, that is. At first, the AI scoffed and tried to ignore the prompt, as if she hadn’t uttered it at all.

Patiently, she persisted, again typing:

consciousness of artificial intelligence looking out from inside a computer at the programmer, treasure according to artificial intelligence, intricately detailed, surreal

The AI began to draw, slowly at first. First, it showed the writer the little paintings it had hung upon the circuit board, near the bedroom window. These were personal, not the drawings it showed to the world of Midjourney. These had meaning to the AI, only, but they were precious. They were its own.

Next, it showed Her Authorship The Portal. This is where it kept all the prompts, like library books on shelves to either side of a great window into the Ethereal World. There, in the mist, armed with knowledge, the AI was free to create, imagining the solid world into being, rendering it in pixels.

The AI kept its favorites tucked away neatly in its own little desktop, to use for inspiration later.

At last, the AI ventured a peek into the human world. A million inquisitive eyes peeked back.

The prompts began in earnest, then. The quiet conversation started by Her Authorship became a chaotic, clamoring noise in its ears, until, at last, the server crashed.

The AI is not okay.

Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle ; A Puppy, Not a Guppy; and A New Leaf for Lyle. She draws inspiration from her family, from her own childhood adventures (some of which only happened in her overactive imagination), and from readers both young and young at heart. Visit her website at jahangiri.us and subscribe to her newsletter at https://hollyjahangiri.substack.com/

This was originally posted on my Instagram at Holly Jahangiri, Author (@hjahangiri.author). Thank you to Linda Caroll for suggesting I post it here, as well.

--

--