In a year since its release, ChatGPT has already been used to draft essays, create beer, write best man speeches and even prescribe antibiotics.
Now, a kiltmaker has used the artificial intelligence (AI) tool to design a new tartan – and it’s already been accepted onto the official Scottish Register.
Steven Sim, 52, a former graphic designer based in Arbroath, said he was simply ‘blown away’ by the chatbot’s intelligence.
The creation features prominent red, to represent the ‘passion that drives AI development, and gold for ‘the brilliance and illumination AI brings to the world’.
Also included in the swish design are several hidden references to AI and science fiction, including ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’.
The creation features prominent red, to represent the ‘passion that drives AI development, and gold for ‘the brilliance and illumination AI brings to the world’
Mr Sim also used ChatGPT to create sci-fi-inspired images of robots wearing the new tartan among ‘electronic cities’ that look like circuit boards
AI tartan: What do the colours represent?
Gold – brilliance and illumination that AI brings to the world
Red – passion and creativity that drives AI development
Grey – the neutrality and objectivity that AI must maintain to avoid bias and ensure ethical decision-making
Green – the significance of AI in mankind’s journey in the wellbeing of the planet
‘My objective was to have a tartan that was in no way influenced by me,’ Mr Sim told MailOnline.
‘The first instruction input was “I wonder if you can create a new tartan for me?” and I made sure the colours used had meaning relevant to the invention of AI.’
According to its notes of registration, the tartan was created ‘to celebrate the dawn of artificial intelligence’ and honour one of the ‘founding fathers’ of the field, computer scientist John McCarthy.
Its colours – navy blue, bright gold, two shades of grey, red and green – collectively represent ‘mankind’s vast knowledge, enlightenment, impartiality, journey of learning, creativity and innovation, and the environmental impact of AI’s evolution’.
‘The tartan is intended to capture the essence of AI development, its impact on the world while also warning about its potential risks and unintended consequences,’ the description reads.
Mr Sim asked the bot for a ‘detailed and vivid rationale’ for the design that reflected on the choices behind each colour.
One of the other colours is green which it included to mark ‘the significance of AI in mankind’s journey in the wellbeing of the planet’.
Mr Sim, who has been designing tartan for 12 years, said he was simply ‘blown away’ by the chatbot’s intelligence
Steven Sim, 52, said he was blown away’ by the intelligence of the chatbot, which was released in November 2022 and his since proved a smash success for company OpenAI
According to Mr Sim, 42 is a significant number in the tartan’s thread count and a nod to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the acclaimed 1979 novel by English author Douglas Adams.
In the book, the answer to the ‘Ultimate Question to Life, the Universe and Everything’ is 42 – although Adams meant this as a joke with no great meaning.
Other significant numbers in the tartan’s thread count respectively nod to computing bytes and the year of the Dartmouth Workshop.
The event in New Hampshire in the summer of 1956 is widely considered to be the founding event of artificial intelligence as a field.
Mr Sim – who has been designing tartan for 12 years and runs thetartanartisan.com – said kilts using the design are in the works.
Mr Sim also used ChatGPT to create sci-fi-inspired images of robots wearing the new tartan among ‘electronic cities’ that look like circuit boards.
‘The additional circuit board images of red and green electronic cities which I asked ChatGPT to create to enhance the idea of this circuit board in the Tartan,’ he said.
Mr Sim is not the only one recently who has taken inspiration from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to bring an idea to life.
X owner Elon Musk has just unveiled a new chatbot called Grok that has been modelled on the novel, one of the tech billionaire’s favourites.
The book depicts the adventures of the only man to survive the destruction of Earth, who, while roaming outer space, learns the truth behind Earth’s existence.
In honour of the book’s humour, Grok is designed to answer questions ‘with a bit of wit and has a rebellious streak’.
Scotland’s oldest tartan: Scrap of fabric discovered buried in a Highland peat bog is more than 500 years old
A scrap of plaid textile dating back more than 500 years is Scotland’s oldest tartan, scientists have revealed
Discovered in a peat bog in Glen Affric in the Scottish Highlands, the faded fabric features traces of green and brown dye and belonged to an unknown clan.
It is believed it could date back to the start of the 16th century, possibly during the reign of James IV, James V or Mary Queen of Scots.
Experts have said the tartan was more than likely worn as an ‘outdoor working garment’ and would not have been worn by royalty.