The Illustrated Little Spider

One day I wondered if spiders got itches. And then I wondered how they would respond to an itch. I asked ChatGPT to create a nursery rhyme from my musings. After talking to ChatGPT, I visited its sibling. DALL-E is another AI from Open AI, this AI is designed to produce art from text prompts. Below are the drawings DALL-E made to accompany the nursery rhyme, Little Spider.

To have DALL-E, another OpenAI product, create images for the Little Spider piece, I started with a portion of the rhyme.


“Illustration for the following nursery rhyme: Little spider, small and neat, Has a way to scratch and treat, With pedipalps near its mouth, It grooms itself, heading south. Special hairs on legs so fine, Help it scratch and make it shine, Setae, sensitive to touch, Scratch an itch, it’s not too much. Sometimes hard to reach the spot, Fangs and silk, it’s all it’s got,” DALL-E gave me spiders.


I wasn’t looking for pictures of spiders. So I tried to add a little instruction, like this: “Illustration for children’s book… (I repeated the text from the first try)”

And DALL-E responded with these drawings:

Now these spiders were pretty good. I could have certainly used them. But I really wanted something like the older children’s books. So I tried again. I added the word “Classic.”

Classic Illustration for children’s book… (followed by the part of the rhyme from the first attempt)”

And here is the result…

At first I was really pleased. The image with the little girl and the spider was very much what I was imagining. But then I looked closer. Why does the spider have 10 legs? Why does the girl have 3? And what is going on with her face?

So I was able to prompt the AI to write a nursery rhyme. And I followed that up with some images. The results were not quite what I wanted, but they were pretty close. And with some improvements I am certain the output will improve. I think that these AI offer an amazing tool to allow folks to communicate. Unfortunately, I can also see them as the reason people forget how to write themselves!

“Little spider” rhyme generated by Will and OpenAI’s GPT-3 model. Illustrations by DALL-E

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