Robot Juice

Minor inconsistencies and overly generic responses that frequently mar AI's output.


July 1, 2024


Steve Berry

Robot Juice

I've coined the term "robot juice" to describe the extraneous elements often found in AI-generated outputs. This term encapsulates the minor inconsistencies and overly generic responses that frequently mar AI's output.

Imagine, if you will, an article generated by AI. It typically begins with an introduction outlining the value it will deliver, provides the value it told you it would, and concludes with a summary recapping the value it just delivered. This structure lacks the finesse of human touch. The generalized responses from AI can be likened to a junior-level professional who, while competent, often falls short of delivering nuanced value without significant context.

Consider how image generation models, like MidJourney, produce overly painterly or artistic outputs that don't quite achieve hyper-realism. These outputs exhibit "robot juice"—the subtle, just-off details that detract from the intended precision. Remember all the extra fingers in early image generation? That was robot slurry.

Thankfully, modern science has mostly solved the extra finger dilemma; it's now the overall artistic execution that seems slightly out of place. It's that feeling when you buy your favorite product at the grocery store only to find it on the shelf just below the one they used to have it on.

We'll see more of this "robot juice" in the coming years: A false sense of intimacy, an overly opinionated or seemingly confident delivery that, upon closer inspection, reveals its fabricated invention.

If you've encountered a particularly memorable "robot juice" experience, tell me about it!

Steve Berry
Principal, Thought Merchants

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