Happy holidays from our team to you! This time of year is about spreading joy, love and holiday cards—(100% not bragging) about how our kids just totally solved world hunger.

Not only have we been working on our families’ holiday cards, but those for our clients to send out to their customers. Like every good holiday card, we needed a cute picture of a family posing up in front of a ho-ho-home. This year, we decided to take a leap, a bound, as some may say, and utilize this growing space that is artificial intelligence, more commonly known as AI. It can be humbling to try new things… but we were definitely not prepared for this.

Us: “AI, give me an adorable family in front of a midwestern style house in the snow.”

AI: “Here is nightmare fuel.”

Erm…We didn’t know whether to laugh, cry or set fire to our laptop. Needing an explanation only a robot could give, we turned to Photoshop generative fill’s not-so-trusty cousin, Chat GPT. When asked why AI images are so creepy, Chat GPT said, “AI-generated images can sometimes come across as creepy because they fall into the uncanny valley. The uncanny valley is a concept in robotics and artificial intelligence where human-like representations that are almost, but not quite, realistic can elicit feelings of unease or discomfort. When AI-generated images or avatars get close to looking human but still have subtle differences, our brains can find them unsettling. It’s like a visual ‘almost, but not quite right’ feeling that can be a bit creepy. Advances in AI are making generated images more realistic, so perhaps we’ll see less of that creepy factor in the future!”

Soooooo… The train did not stop at the uncanny valley; it blazed onto murderous mountain. Watch out, these may be on the shelves at your local Spirit Halloween the next new viral costume. As technology continues to advance, we hope we can expect AI-generated faces to become even more realistic and less prone to an eerie feeling… or do we?

One day, we could be scrolling on Facebook, and AI is using one of our faces. Maybe we’ll end up being the next Covergirl (or Coverguy?); or maybe it’s one of our faces that shalt be generated for these here holiday cards. But for now (sigh), I guess we’ll just have to go the old fashioned route and take real photos on our iPhone 17s.