I was looking at some AI-generated art and thought about why it seemed creepy. It’s not just the uncanny valley of almost-real people and the surreal table setting. It’s the way everybody’s character and expression are perfectly the same. The figures are dead, without a will of their own.

Fascinating or repulsive, depending on your mood. Now look at the pixelated banner scene at the top of this page. It, too, is generated by AI from the same prompt as the image immediately above, but with different filters applied.  Somehow it conveys the feeling of a warm Thanksgiving feast without the creepiness.

The banner image allows us to fill in the details with our own imagination, injecting life and meaning. It reminds us of friendly gatherings we have had, without distracting us with too much weirdness (although you can still spot weirdness if you look for it). We can imagine the pixelated people are alive, unique, and often surprising, like the people we know and love.

Thank God we’re all different and can make up our own minds! And thank God for our friends and loving family members. Whether or not you believe in God, you can use Thanksgiving to thank your friends and family for all they give to you. If you don’t have friends or family to thank, well then maybe you should try some more gratitude in your attitude.

Thank you then, for reading this far. Who would you like to thank?