A portrait of Mariam KABORE #thisnamedpersondoesnotexist #DALLE

This Mariam KABORE does not exist

Two weeks ago, we generated several portraits using DALL-E of hypothetical Fatimata SWADOGO, a Bukinabé name shared by hundreds of people in Burkina Faso, mostly in the Centre-Nord, Nord regions of the country. Today, we present some new portraits generated from personal names with the tag #thisnamedpersondoesnotexist – and we feature a “classic fail” of AI software.

A portrait of FATIMATA SAWADOGO #thisnamedpersondoesnotexist #DALLE

This Fatimata SAWADOGO does not exist

We’ve used DALL-E text-to-image AI to generate portraits, based on names shared by a large number of people. This is our second blog post in our series with tag #thisnamedpersondoesnotexist, exploring how text-to-image AIs interpret personal names. We believe this project can illustrate the complexity of personal names interpretation, at the crossroads of ethnography, sociology, sociolinguistics, geography, history and, more recently machine learning.

A crowd in Burkina Faso (generated by DALL-E)

Common names in Burkina Faso, West-Africa

Burkina Faso is a multi-cultural and diverse country with a rich history. In this article, we would like to explorer how personal names can be interpreted to reflect regional, ethnic appartenance within the country. Then we would like to illustrate how the use of a personal name can affect a black-box Artificial Intelligence – such as OpenAI’s DALL-E. This is a first article in our series of blog posts with tag #thisnamedpersondoesnotexist.