Loab is Showing Us the Unimaginable Future of Artificial Intelligence

An AI-generated character might not sound so remarkable in an era of deepfakes and all manner of digital alchemy. But Loab is different.

Generated by accident, she leaves an indelible trace on every image associated with her persona. She’s often accompanied by extreme gore and violence, and it’s not clear why. Not even those who understand this tech can explain what she’s doing here.

Loab (pronounced “lobe”) was first discovered in April this year by 31-year-old artist Steph Swanson, known online as Supercomposite. Steph was at home in Uppsala, Sweden, experimenting with one of the many game-changing AI image generation tools which are now publicly available.

These tools produce original images that are based on the description you type in. That day, she was using negative prompt weights, a technique which produces the theoretical opposite of whatever you ask for. Steph’s request for the opposite of Marlon Brando produced a business logo.

But when she asked the AI for the opposite of the description of the logo, something unexpected happened.

“I got four images of the same woman,” she says.

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