Someone Asked an AI Program to Paint What Manila Would Look Like in 2070

It’s not pretty.

Reddit user HiromiSai was browsing TikTok when he came across an AI program that could paint anything the user wants. He searched more about the program and came across one called Midjourney.

“This specific AI is by far the best among its adversaries in this current trend,” he tells Esquire Philippines. “It can be used via discord server with 25 free images on your first trial.” 


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HiromiSai used the AI to generate images for a book he wrote and even asked it to paint the Dark Continent of Hunter X Hunter. But then he came up with the idea of asking it to paint something related to the Philippines. 

“I got curious if the AI has an algorithm that can see what a futuristic city looks like,” he says. “Hence, I asked Midjourney to paint what Manila would look like in the year 2070.”

According to HiromiSai, when asking the AI to paint something, it requires you to type "/imagine" following the keywords that need to be created. He then used the phrase “/imagine Manila in the year 2070 global warming.” 

And this is what came out:

Photo by Reddit / u/HiromiSai.


HiromiSai says he wasn’t really surprised about the image since he did use the keyword “global warming.” 

“But the only thing I thought when I saw the result was that it really made sense because of the things we are experiencing right now as a result of climate change,” he adds. “I just did not expect the AI to interpret it as a sinking Manila, but instead, it’s like a post-apocalyptic city, which is kinda cool and scary at the same time.”

HiromiSai shared the image on Reddit where it has since become one of the most popular posts on the Philippines subreddit. Most users have humorous comments about it, with some saying how “optimistic” the AI is about the future of the country and how they hope they won’t live to see and experience the world depicted in the AI’s image.

But some were more serious, saying we can expect to see the dystopian image of Manila by 2050 or even earlier.

“I shared the image with the community to show that even artificial intelligence interprets global warming as a threat to humanity,” HiromiSai says. “I didn't mention global warming in the post to spark more discussion and let the viewers' imagination see what could cause such a futuristic look.”

Something to ponder.



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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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