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Playbot #1
A mag in five pix

Playbot #1

We’re seeing more and more experiments with AI image creation in magazines. The latest Civilization used text generated from previous issues, for instance. But Playbot is the first mag we’ve seen entirely created using AI.

Produced by Central St Martins graphic design graduate Min Kim, the 36-page magazine is positioned as a porn mag for machines. The single major human input is that title, an immediately appealing pun on the famous men’s mag. Otherwise, Min handed control over to image and text generators, which are credited as photographers and writers alongside a stylist credit for PhotoShop.

‘Despite the fact that most images were generated based on non-sexual inputs,’ Min explains in her intro, ‘the machine classified them as racy and adult.’ The resulting material is at once serious and comedic, fascinating and disturbing.

Here’s a quick look over the issue in five pictures; we would usually caption each picture but here, most speak for themselves.



The fleshy tones and poses are so nearly real—yet so obviously not—that it’s difficult to accept the images have been developed without direct human input.

But perhaps most astonishing are the interview answers above; the AI machine interviews itself, revealing among other truthes that it would like Gun and Roses played at its funeral. I mean… so many questions!

Playbot challenges the viewer to ponder upon the bias and continued expansion of machine learning, Min adds, ‘I would like to continue to utilize graphic design to facilitate conversations around the relationship between humans and technology and speculate ways we can coexist together in the future.’


This one-off zine is a great start to that conversation. We’ll be keeping our eye on other AI interventions in publishing.




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