Human Versus Computer! Web Design Challenge.
I like computer intelligence. I’m not an expert in the field but I respect it, play with it and talk to friends about it. I’m always interested in new advancements in machine learning, deep learning, artificial intelligence, artificial artificial intelligence, neural networks. Basically anything that can give context to an otherwise context-free network. Yeah! Cool stuff.
I was GIDDY WITH EXCITEMENT when I heard about The Grid like, a billion years ago. I tossed some Bitcoin into the tip jar for “early access to the beta” and promptly forgot about it.
Like, one billion years pass and I’m watching a video on Youtube starring the CEO of The Grid apologizing for making promises that he couldn’t meet. The launch will be delayed. Whatever, I’m above it. I know that product launches for software products, especially networked software products are bullshit. I’m giving these kind bros a chance. And the one token lady in the video. She gets the same chance as the bros.
After some more time, maybe one half of one billion years, I get a kind email from this kind bro instructing me that…it is time. The Grid has launched and is open to my account! Sign up now and become part of the future…or something like that.
I perform the Sign Up Now activity. Well, that part works pretty good. Now it’s time to have my little graphic designer bot make my website for me. It asked me for some content. I uploaded a picture I took that was scary and surreal and I really loved. Then all I could think of was emo melancholy goth feels within lonely techno utopian landscapes. Me and my little graphic designer bot friend. Making a website together.
This is what it came up with. Seriously. This is clearly an error. That empty space between the top and the bottom? Yeah, its not that I didn’t write enough words or upload enough pictures. It’s that my graphic design bot friend decided to leave that space empty.
I’m thinking it might not be a good idea to continue working with this graphic design bot. We might have to break up as friends.
But that’s not going to get me down. Web pages are everywhere. Online, offline, in the media. Anywhere you go, web pages! You could say 2016 is the year of web pages! I’m going to make my own webpage, without this graphic design bot to help me.
Enter the kind folks at Neocities. Like its predecessor, Geocities, Neocities is a platform for webpages. It’s also a platform for fun! I signed up, clicked around a few times and boom! I had a webpage. It was boring. So I dragged and dropped my way to a nice web page I like. With content made by me, an academic researcher in deep learning and a digital artist who is a friend of a friend. I like this web page much better than the one designed by my old bot. See for yourself!
In terms of time and complexity, it’s hard to judge. Maybe my website’s portrait isn’t the most flattering thing to look at in the world but when you consider it was drawn by a computer program that learned how to draw by looking at other drawings, the plot thickens. While my website took merely minutes to create from a blank canvas, it was influenced by years and years of learning. Style is something that no one is born with, it must be learned. I have a style I have learned over a long linear timeline.
Personally, I don’t think The Grid gave me a collaboration partner that I would like to work with in the future. The time it took for this computer program to design a pretty crap website could be considered quicker than my own time designing my own website, though if you figure the one billion years it took to launch a program that can’t really design web sites, the time expansion doesn’t seem to be right.
I’ll stick with designing web sites myself. But thanks The Grid. You took one for the team!