Asking ChatGPT for Crochet Patterns Has Disturbing Results

“It looks wrong and ugly, but also very cute.”


ChatGPT is able to complete workable crochet patterns, The Guardian reports. That’s great. One catch: the finished product may not be exactly what you were looking for.

According to the Guardian, the trend was first popularized by crochet enthusiast Alexandra Woolner, who went viral back in January with a TikTok video showing off the results of her first attempt at bringing a crochet pattern suggested by ChatGPT to life. They encouraged the OpenAI chatbot to draft a pattern for a crochet walrus, and the AI ​​provided – but the resulting crochet creature can only really be described as a narwhal-ish.

“The consensus among people who have seen it is that it looks wrong and ugly,” Woolner told the paper, “but also very cute.”

In fact, with its huge, cartoonish eyes and delightfully bulbous features, the resulting creature is wrong and ugly, not to mention disturbing. Still, it has got a bit of foreign charm. (In a comment, one TikTokker described the narwhal nightmare as a “manatee in witness protection”, a description we must stand by.)

Bad ratio

Most importantly, this narwhal chaos is not an outlier. Woolner has made a series of these amazing crochet beasts, each one as quirky as the next, which apparently speaks to two very important characteristics of ChatGPT: one, that the device is built to predict – apart from recalling information perfectly – and two, that he is bad with numbers.

Crochet patterns are highly dependent on correct proportions, which ChatGPT cannot produce with reliable accuracy. And besides, it’s still an approximation of what the world of crochet — or cat or newt — is like. could appearance based on the chatbot’s training data, and not a true representation. Thus, chaotic, almost dream-like representations come to the requested animals.

The narwhal “came out shockingly very accurate and still be very, very wrong,” said Woolner the Guardian. “It’s a strange combination, a kind of uncanny valley.”

Hello Blinky

While the crochet monsters may be a bit disturbing, others can’t help but join in on the fun.

“After I finished the one, it was pretty clear that this was not going to be like any animal in nature,” Diana Ramirez-Simon, who Guardian said the copy editor about her own attempt at a crochet narwhal designed by ChatGPT.

“My daughter named him Blinky, because he can’t blink,” she said. “His eyes are too big.”

READ MORE: Crochet enthusiasts have requested patterns on ChatGPT. The results are ‘cursed’ (The Guardian)

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