Have you ever heard the phrase “the cat’s out of the bag”? It’s a common idiom that means a secret has been revealed. But what if the phrase was taken literally? An artificial intelligence (AI) program might interpret the phrase as an image of a cat, literally climbing out of a bag.
This type of literal interpretation is something that AI programs are particularly prone to. Because they don’t have the same context and cultural knowledge that humans do, they can struggle to understand idioms, euphemisms, and phrases that are not meant to be taken literally.
For example, when we say “it’s raining cats and dogs,” we don’t literally mean that cats and dogs are falling from the sky. It’s just a colorful way of saying it’s raining heavily. But an AI program might interpret this phrase as an image of animals literally falling from the sky.
Similarly, when we say “I’m dying to see that movie,” we don’t literally mean that we are on the verge of death. It’s just a way of saying we are very eager to see the movie. But an AI program might interpret this phrase as an image of a person literally on their deathbed, wanting to watch a film.
Euphemisms can also be confusing for AI programs. For example, if we say “I’m going to the little boy’s room,” we are simply saying we are going to the bathroom. But an AI program might interpret this as an image of a small child in a room.
These literal interpretations can lead to some hilarious and bizarre images being produced by AI programs. For example, an AI might interpret the phrase “he’s a little green around the gills” as an image of a person with a green face, or the phrase “she has a bee in her bonnet” as an image of a person with a bee on their head.
While it’s amusing to see these literal interpretations, it’s important to remember that AI programs are still learning and evolving. As they continue to develop, they will likely become better at understanding idioms, euphemisms, and phrases that are not meant to be taken literally.
Until then, we can enjoy the funny and sometimes confusing images that these literal interpretations produce.