TextFx from Google is an AI ‘experiment’ in collaboration with Grammy-award winning rapper, Lupe Fiasco.
Google’s Creative Technologist, Aaron Wade, says that he thought that Lupe would ask for the LLM to write rap lyrics. Instead, the singer asked for tools that would help him explore the universe of possibilities associated with a word, so he could break through creative blocks.
TextFx is a set of 10 focused tools that range from finding similies and acronyms for a word, to asking for a POV, or even just getting an unexpected hot take!
A slider allows you to control the ‘temperature of the creativity’ the LLM uses to answer the prompt.
Regardless of whether you’re working on lyrics, an essay or just the company blog, there are some common stumbling blocks along every writer’s journey. What’s another adjacent word? How do I make this line snappier? Is there an angle to this I‘m missing? Lupe says the real goal of TextFx is to introduce users to working with language in ways they wouldn’t have thought about earlier.
We played around the tools and found that they were surprisingly useful.
In fact, for every query we tried, the results from TextFx were far more sophisticated and useful than using either ChatGPT or Bard.
Finally, a Worthy Interface
Given that designer Khyati Trehan has been involved with TextFx, it is not surprising that the interface looks great. THC readers will appreciate the little details, like the background colour switch for each tool.
Lupe Fiasco adds a generous helping of charm as he explains how to use each tool in a short video.
There is also a ‘Look under the Hood’ option which sets out how the LLM was primed to answer that prompt.
The THC Take
TextFx is the second collaboration from Google’s Lab Sessions. The first was a session with composer Dan Deacon, who used the company’s MusicLLM to create a song and Bard to write a guided meditation.
In this conversation with artist Android Jones at Burning Man, OpenAi founder Sam Altman says that he never anticipated that the first industries AI would impact would be creative ones. Along with the many IP issues that have arisen, the fear that AI will in time, replace creators is a real one.
Lab Session’s collaborations clearly aim to assuage these apprehensions. By showcasing how AI tools can augment creativity in different scenarios, Google has started the long haul of shaping public perception of AI. In Lupe‘s words, the attempt is to show creators that AI can “push you over the wall, when you run into one.”
Just one small thing though, the folk at Google may have forgotten to give the LLM the memo.