Have you heard of the AI bot Craiyon? The artificial intelligence project, hosted by the company Hugging Face, has skyrocketed in popularity over the last month, sketching more than 50,000 images per day. We joined in on the fun and asked the bot to draw five of Asheville’s most iconic landmarks — here’s how it did.
Note: This application shares nine versions of each photo, so we selected our favorite for each example.
The Asheville Skyline
Our grade: A-
It’s got the trees, the famous ridgeline of the mountains + decent (albeit bloblike) approximations of the high rises downtown. We say this AI interpretation passes pretty well as an Impressionist version of the Asheville skyline.
The Grove Arcade
Our grade: B
If the Grove Arcade looked like this, we’d still hang out there. Though this rendition of the nearly 100-year old shopping structure lacks the building’s second story, it has a similar aesthetic of the Van Gogh painting “Café Terrace at Night,” which we really dig.
Interstate 240 – Asheville
Our grade: C+
This painting feels a bit like a nightmare version of I-240, but if you live in Asheville, you know that this highway can sometimes be a real-life nightmare, so it’s not too far off. Plus, while this painting does leave us wanting with its precision, the highway sign and ambiguously marked lane divisions feel familiar to our experience of the road.
The Biltmore Estate
Our grade: B-
We think Craiyon did a solid job capturing the majestic lawn and stature of the largest privately owned house in the country. However, the color of the building’s walls are pretty off — in person, it’s much lighter and whiter. Plus, the Biltmore’s roof has a patina tint rather than a dark, shadowy one.
Basilica of Saint Lawrence, Asheville
Our grade: B
In this painting, the bot really nailed the shade of patina that so elegantly tops this 100+ year-old basilica, as well as the coppery color of the bricks. However, we don’t think Craiyon really did the center dome — which is one of the largest freestanding elliptical domes in North America — justice in this rendition.
Wanna get weirder with Craiyon? You can also search hypothetical scenarios, like a “dinosaur eating the Grove Arcade” or “hot pink Biltmore Estate.” Go on, have some fun, and send us your favorite Craiyon creations while you’re at it.