Long before eBooks, I read a library book with no dust jacket. I had a vague image of the heroine in mind. Later, I saw the cover illustration and my reaction was that the picture on the cover wasn’t the heroine. Using an AI program, Summer Hanford has been trying to create images of the characters in our forthcoming book, Pride & Prejudice and Planets. Although the images are nice and don’t contradict the book we have written, they aren’t my characters.
Wait a minute. If the images aren’t the images of the author of a book, aren’t they wrong? Not really. There are two of us and I could happily live with the images being Summer’s images. But the AI program Summer is using doesn’t read minds. The words used don’t perfectly translate into pictures. I doubt that the program could find the perfect Darcy or the perfect Elizabeth.
Jane Austen never described Jane Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. We know she was more beautiful than any of her sisters, but we don’t know the shape of her face or the color of her hair or eyes. We know she was shorter than Lydia and heavier than Elizabeth, but that isn’t helpful in knowing what she looked like. Jane Austen left that to our imagination.
Perhaps we should have left character images to readers’ imaginations, but the AI images are fun, and we decided to share the fun with our readers. Feel free to say to yourself, “That is NOT Darcy!!!” You will be right. Summer did not get the AI to do exactly what she wanted and agrees with that sentiment.
As a teaser, a picture of Georgiana is included since I doubt that anyone will be too offended if their imagined version of Georgiana isn’t the same as the illustration.