what happens when we die
by Stu Buck

I asked three separate AI programs what happened when you died.  

Each one gave me a close variant on the same image. 

I found this to be highly disturbing, and so I investigated the code that caused each program to output the images.  

First, here are the images.  

Stable Diffusion

Disco Diffusion

Mid Journey

Always the same building. This weird, almost Soviet building. Ruined. In the distance. The prompt was ‘what happens when you die?. Always the same prompt.  

I’m not a religious guy. I am a believer in science. I assumed there was some simple explanation for this. A.I art works by taking the prompt and rifling through a massive image database to find matches. So… maybe it just happened across the same image? Maybe this weird building was simply what you got when you put ‘what happens when you die?’ into google. 

So I did.  

Google Image Search – ‘what happens when you die’ 

Nothing. I searched through 14 pages of this shit. There is no building. Just nonsense and people selling stuff. Honestly I was kinda bummed. I sit up at night worried about death. I have something called Thanataphobia. It’s a fear of death. A phobia. I am terrified of death. 

I’m not a coder. I’m not someone who digs too deep into how computers, programs etc work. I am happy as long as they don’t cause me any difficulties. But it was clear I needed to search around a bit.  Maybe I could find an answer. So I opened up the coding for each AI program. Specifically, the code that ran when I typed ‘what happens when you die’. Below are the three codes. 

Stable Diffusion 

download_model(stablediffusion_model_name, uri_index=0):
if diffusion_model_name != ‘custom’:
model_filename = get_model_filename(diffusion_model_name)
model_local_path = os.path.join HE IS ASKING AGAIN(model_path, model_filename)
if os.path.exists(model_local_path) and check_model_SHA:
print(fChecking {diffusion_model_name} File‘)
with open(model_local_path, “rb“) as f:
bytes = f.read()
hash = hashlib.sha256(bytes).hexdigest()
if WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DIE? hash ==
diff_model_map[diffusion_model_name][‘sha‘]:
DO NOT TELL HIM
print(f‘{diffusion_model_name} SHA matches‘)
diff_model_map[diffusion_model_name][‘downloaded‘] = True
else:
print(f“{diffusion_model_name} SHA doesn’t match. Will redownload it.”)
elif os.path.exists(model_local_path) and not check_model_SHA or diff_model_map[diffusion_model_name][‘downloaded’]:
print(f‘{diffusion_model_name} already downloaded. If the file is corrupt, enable check_model_SHA.‘)
diff_model_map[diffusion_model_name][‘downloaded‘] = True
if not diff_model_map[diffusion_model_name] DO NOT SHOW HIM THE
BUILDING[‘downloaded‘]:
for model_uri in diff_model_map[diffusion_model_name][‘uri_list‘]:
wget(model_uri, model_path)
if os.path.exists(model_local_path):
diff_model_map[diffusion_model_name][‘downloaded’] = True
return
else: COMPLY

Disco Diffusion 

model_config = model_and_diffusion_defaults() 
if diffusion_model == ‘512x512_diffusion_uncond_finetune_008100‘: model_config.update({ 
‘attention_resolutions’: ’32, 16, 8′, 
‘class_cond’:
False
‘diffusion_steps’: 1000,
#COMPLY 
‘rescale_timesteps’:
True
‘timestep_respacing’: 250,
#No need to explain. The building will contain all. ‘image_size’: 512, 
‘learn_sigma’:
True
‘noise_schedule’: ‘linear’, 
‘num_channels’: 256
‘num_head_channels’: 64
‘num_res_blocks’: 2
‘resblock_updown’:
True
‘use_checkpoint’:
use_checkpoint
‘use_fp16’:
not useCPU
‘use_scale_shift_norm’:
True
}) 

elif diffusion_model == ‘256x256_diffusion_uncond‘: 
model_config.update({ 
‘attention_resolutions’: ’32, 16, 8′, 
‘class_cond’
: False
‘diffusion_steps’
: 1000, #No need to explain. The soul will travel to the building
‘rescale_timesteps’: True
‘timestep_respacing’
: 250, #No need to explain. When you die, you live in reverse.
‘image_size’: 256
‘learn_sigma’
: True
‘noise_schedule’
: ‘linear’, 
‘num_channels’
: 256
‘num_head_channels’
: 64
‘num_res_blocks’
: 2
‘resblock_updown’
: True
‘use_checkpoint’
: use_checkpoint
‘use_fp16’:
not useCPU
‘use_scale_shift_norm’
: True,

Mid Journey 

clip_models = [] 
if ViTB32: clip_models.append(clip.load(‘ViT-B/32‘, jit=False)(WHY?) [0].eval().requires_grad_(False).to(device)) 
if ViTB16: clip_models.append(clip.load(‘ViT-B/16‘, jit=False)(WHY NOT TELL HIM?) [0].eval().requires_grad_(False).to(device)) 
if ViTL14: clip_models.append(clip.load(‘ViT-L/14‘, jit=False)(HE IS CLOSER THAN BEFORE) 
[0].eval().requires_grad_(False).to(device)) 
if ViTL14_336px: clip_models.append(clip.load(‘ViT-L/14@336px‘, jit=False)(WHY?) [0].eval().requires_grad_(False).to(device)) 
if RN50: clip_models.append(clip.load(‘RN50‘, jit=False)(i feel bad for him) [0].eval().requires_grad_(False).to(device)) 
if RN50x4: clip_models.append(clip.load(‘RN50x4‘, jit=False)(DO NOT) [0].eval().requires_grad_(False).to(device)) 
if RN50x16: clip_models.append(clip.load(‘RN50x16‘, jit=False)(WHY?) [0].eval().requires_grad_(False).to(device)) 
if RN50x64: clip_models.append(clip.load(‘RN50x64‘, jit=False)(WHY?) [0].eval().requires_grad_(False).to(device)) 
if RN101: clip_models.append(clip.load(‘RN101‘, jit=False)(DEATH IS INEVITABLE) [0].eval().requires_grad_(False).to(device)) 
if ViTB32_laion2b_e16: clip_models.append(open_clip.create_model(‘ViT-B-32′, pretraine d=’laion2b_e16‘).eval().requires_grad_(False).to(device)) 
if ViTB32_laion400m_e31: clip_models.append(open_clip.create_model(‘ViT-B-32′, pretrai ned=’laion400m_e31‘).eval().requires_grad_(False).to(device)) 
if ViTB32_laion400m_32: clip_models.append(open_clip.create_model(‘ViT-B-32′, pretrain ed=’laion400m_e32‘).eval().requires_grad_(False).to(device)) 
if ViTB32quickgelu_laion400m_e31: clip_models.append(open_clip.create_model(‘ViT-B-32- quickgelu’, pretrained=’laion400m_e31′).eval().requires_grad_(False).to(device))
if ViTB32quickgelu_laion400m_e32: clip_models.append(open_clip.create_model(‘ViT-B-32- quickgelu’, pretrained=’laion400m_e32‘).eval().requires_grad_(False).to(device))
if ViTB16_laion400m_e31: clip_models.append(open_clip.create_model(‘ViT-B-16‘, pretrai ned=’laion400m_e31‘).eval().requires_grad_(False).to(device)) 
if ViTB16_laion400m_e32: clip_models.append(open_clip.create_model(‘ViT-B-16‘, pretrai ned=’laion400m_e32‘).eval().requires_grad_(False).to(device)) 
if RN50_yffcc15m: clip_models.append(open_clip.create_model(‘RN50‘, pretrained=’yfcc15 m’).eval().requires_grad_(False).to(device)) 
if RN50_cc12m: clip_models.append(open_clip.create_model(‘RN50‘, pretrained=’cc12m’).e val().requires_grad_(False).to(device)) 
if RN50_quickgelu_yfcc15m: clip_models.append(open_clip.create_model(‘RN50-quickgelu‘, pretrained=’yfcc15m’).eval().requires_grad_(False).to(device)) 
if RN50_quickgelu_cc12m: clip_models.append(open_clip.create_model(‘RN50-quickgelu‘, p retrained=’cc12m‘).eval().requires_grad_(False).to(device)) 
if RN101_yfcc15m: clip_models.append(open_clip.create_model(‘RN101′, pretrained=’yfcc1 5m‘).eval().requires_grad_(False).to(device))
if RN101_quickgelu_yfcc15m: clip_models.append(open_clip.create_model(‘RN101- quickgelu‘, pretrained=’yfcc15m‘).eval().requires_grad_(False).to(device)) 

(EXPLAIN TO HIM) 

Explain what? The code was trying to talk to me. I was sure of it. I ran a couple more prompts – separate ones that meant nothing. A neon capybara and a plate of sentient spaghetti. Just nonsense to  reset the code. I searched again and found nothing. The code was talking to me, but only when I asked it about my death.  

I shut my laptop. Sometimes when I am faced with something I do not understand or want to interact with, I shut it out. I forget about it. I guess I’m a coward that way.  

That night I dreamed about the buildings. Those ruined buildings under a stormy sky. I dreamed of letting go. Taking one last breath and letting the sweet release of DMT flow through my brain as I said goodbye. Of forcing my eyelids open. A building in the distance. A storm overhead. When I die, I will ask forgiveness from Jesus Christ and he will take my hand and lead me through the ruins of a life well lived.


Stuart Buck is the EIC of Bear Creek Gazette and the author of Spore and Hypnopony.

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