After a brutal main segment on Afghanistan, this week’s episode concludes with a ten-minute exploration of AI imaging software. How these programs work is relatively simple: users just supply a text prompt, and a minute later an online app produces a series of uncanny images. Last month, SFGATE supplied the most popular of these apps, DALL-E 2, with prompts asking about the future of San Francisco . The results were eerie at best, and unintelligible at worst.
Oliver and his staff experimented with Midjourney, a different imaging app headquartered in San Francisco , by asking it to create images of a “roast beef superhero.” But the real fun began when a staffer searched the archives of images for prompts that included the names of late night show hosts. James Corden had eight search results (including the bizarre “trail cam footage of James Corden eating teeth”), Conan O’Brien appeared 14 times, Stephen Colbert had eight hits, and Trevor Noah and Jimmy Kimmel each came up three times.
Oliver on the other hand appeared in 493 images, ranging from “John Oliver in Victorian era dress” to “John Oliver busting out of a can of Del Monte green beans.” It turns out that many of the images come from two users, one simply named Margaret who created an elaborate series showing Oliver interacting with a cabbage in some quite unique ways.
In Margaret’s personal John Oliver-verse, the TV host ends up getting married to the cabbage. Then the image series ends in disaster as Oliver has a dream about being hungry and accidentally eats the cabbage in his sleep (the images are as awkward as you imagine).
Unfortunately the segment isn’t up on the official “Last Week Tonight” YouTube channel at time of publication, but the full episode can be streamed on HBO Max.