A Horse Borne of a Paucity of Experience

…the OpenAI API works in the world of text, not in the concrete world. As far as it’s concerned, there’s no real difference between sounding correct and actually being correct.

Janelle Shane

I’m a big fan of Janelle Shane. To this day, when I don’t know what to make for dinner, I will often say, “I guess I’ll make beef with swamp peef and cheese.” Her sense of humor and the absurd, uncanny valley of AI-generated original art make for an incredible comedy team.

So when she started asking it about describing animals, I was really excited. Because the uncanny valley of plausibility is what makes speculative zoölogy work. And this was a real gem:

Q: Describe a horse

A: A horse is about five times the size of an elephant, three times the size of a cow and nearly the size of a giraffe. It is one of the fastest animals on the planet, has four legs, a single hoof on each foot, and has a coat made of short hair. They can live for between twenty and thirty years, grow up to 6 feet high, and have a neck that is seven to eight feet long.

I decided to ignore the Venn diagram with no overlaps about its size, and opted for the smaller size, since that would require less morphological invention than the impossibly-large land animal five times the size of an elephant.

Weirdly, this is my job. Please support my art, music, writing, and games so I can eat food and teach kids how to be proud weirdos!

This is Megadaisy. She’s a good horse. She likes apples and walks on the plain where her long neck helps her graze in a wide radius at low metabolic cost. Like all horses, she has a mane on her neck and her tail, which is very long to balance out her enormous head and neck structure. She can use it to crack like a whip, scaring away or even harming predators with it.

Megadaisy
What are heroes like in The Fifth World? Absent sedentary, agrarian life, how do their culture heroes demonstrate the values of their society?
I wonder what religions are like in The Fifth World. Do they center around humans? Do they explain natural forces as having motivations, or do they recall the interwoven complexities of natural processes?

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