This AI bot is working nine to five, drawing people’s dream jobs on Twitter

Martin McAllister tells us about some of the “surprisingly beautiful moments” to come out of Dream Jobs Bot, and why we’re seeing a boom in AI-created work.

11 February 2022

You still might not have scored that dream job you’ve been holding onto since childhood – for me, it was to be on X Factor – but at least now you can get an AI to draw that dream job on Twitter. Last month, Martin McAllister, ECD at design and advertising studio Otherway, launched Dream Jobs Bot, an AI engine built from a combination of VQGAN and CLIP AIs that finds people’s dream jobs and replies with an image. The results are hilarious, although often closer to “fever dream” than daydream, Martin assures.

“There’s something funny in a machine’s – sometimes punishingly literal – interpretations of our thoughts and dreams,” Martin tells It’s Nice That. “There also seemed to be a link to the way an AI draws, the dream-like quality of piecing images together until they sort of make sense, but if you stare at any one area, the whole thing unravels.” Of the many gold exchanges on the @dreamjobsbot’s Twitter, some of Martin’s favourites thus far include a dream job to be a trophy wife, with a response featuring a wife with a trophy for a head, plus a dream to re-organise bookshelves for a living. According to Martin, the concept has reached Reddit after launching, meaning many people are trying to confuse the bot with their tweets. One of my personal favourites is a drawing of an aspirational career eating bricks.

Dream Jobs Bot is one of the highlights in a long line of AI-based projects exploding across the creative world at the moment. Speaking about the boom in generative art, Martin says it has a lot to do with an increase in ease and access: “Alongside leaps in AI development, there are also more publicly available libraries and sharing platforms like Google Colab where these scripts are free to access and run.” From building bots to dabbling in OpenAI’s technologies available in beta, Martin says: “There’s so much incredible technology that people can dig into now with only a little coding knowledge – I’m certainly a long way from ever being professional.”

As for the technology behind Dream Jobs Bot, Martin utilised an engine built by generative artist Katherine Crowson last year, who plugged 2 AI’s, VQGAN and CLIP together to create an image creation AI. Crowson made the combination public in a Google Colab Notebook which, Martin states, is another reason for the recent proliferation of AI drawings in the creative sphere – which can only be a good thing if it leads to more images like the below.

GalleryMartin McAllister: Dream Jobs Bot (Copyright © Martin McAllister, 2022)

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Martin McAllister: Dream Jobs Bot (Copyright © Martin McAllister, 2022)

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About the Author

Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. In January 2023, they became associate editor, predominantly working on partnership projects and contributing long-form pieces to It’s Nice That. Contact them about potential partnerships or story leads.

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