I love imagining new use cases for emerging technologies. AI faciliating personal growth and self-reflection through meditation is a use case that is relatively unexplored. Can AI help us achieve a deeper sense of focus, calm, and self-understanding? I imagined an AI guru leading a reflective meditation, and I used several different AI-enabled technologies to bring the idea to life.
The voice, background music, and imagery in this guided meditation video were all created by collaborating with various AIs. I initiated the prompts, edited and refined the results, and generally pieced it all together to achieve a very specific vision of AI as a guru. This post includes the steps of my process and the output from the collaboration with AI.
Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale, let go of any tension or stress in your body. Relax your muscles and let yourself sink into a state of deep relaxation.
As you continue to breathe deeply, focus on the sensation of your breath moving in and out of your body. Feel the air moving through your nostrils, down into your lungs, and then back out again. With each breath, feel yourself becoming more and more relaxed.
Now, imagine a beautiful, peaceful place. This is a place where you can feel completely at peace and calm. You are surrounded by nature, and the beauty of the world around you. The air is fresh and clean, and the sun is shining down upon you.
As you continue to breathe deeply and relax, imagine a ball of light in your mind. This light is a symbol of your inner peace and calm. As you focus on this light, imagine it growing brighter and brighter. Feel the light filling your mind and body, calming your thoughts and raising your vibration.
As you continue to focus on this light and breathe deeply, imagine any negativity or stress melting away. You are becoming more and more at peace, and your mind is becoming clear and focused. You are in a state of calm and tranquility.
Now, imagine that this light is spreading throughout your body. As it does, feel any tension or discomfort melting away. Every cell in your body is filled with this peaceful, calming light. You are becoming more and more relaxed, and your body is responding by releasing any tension or stress.
As you continue to focus on this light and breathe deeply, imagine yourself being surrounded by love and positivity. You are surrounded by people who support and care for you, and they are sending you love and light.
Feel this love and positivity filling your mind and body, lifting your vibration and bringing you even more peace and calm.
Now, bring your attention back to the present moment. You are still in a state of deep relaxation, but you are also aware of your surroundings.
Take a few more deep breaths, and when you are ready, slowly open your eyes, feeling refreshed, calm, and at peace. You are ready to face the world with a clear, focused mind and a positive, uplifted vibration.
- The journey began with ChatGPT. I asked for a peaceful, guided meditation to bring focus and tranquility. After a few iterations, I was satisfied with the generated text of ChatGPT's guided meditation.
- I brought that text into Play.ht, a text-to-speech generator, and selected a male voice with appropriate gravitas.
- All effective guided meditations need a contemplative score. I used Soundraw to generate a slow and dreamlike musical soundtrack to accompany the voice.
- I exported the audio files from Play.ht and Soundraw, arranging and mixing them in Ableton Live. This was my favorite part of the process. As a human curator and collaborator, I arranged the music and spaced out the vocal part until the pacing felt reasonable.
- In Ableton, I added Ozone 10's "AI-powered mastering" assistant to measure tonal balance, loudness, and build a customized mastering chain of effects to automatically mix the track.
- Using Dall•e2 with a prompt to imagine "an AI leading a guided meditation" I refined a generated image with multiple passes — and a little tweaking in Photoshop — to arrive at the final result. (See story art at the top of this post)
- In After Effects I combined the rendered audio from Ableton and a simple CC Lens effect, with an infinitely looping expression on the image layer, to create the final video that melds the pieces together.
While just a proof of concept, this project invites us to consider how AI might be used to improve our well-being.
Like all new technologies, the imperfections and quirks of the AIs were unavoidable and expressed themselves at every step of the process. If you're an artist, a creator, or just AI-curious, I believe the best way to approach using AI is to familiarize yourself with what's out there. Forget perfection and focus on the act of exploration and creation.
Playing with these AI tools can spark countless ideas. The ideas can be set aside or developed further through iteration. If you allow yourself to explore, it's only a matter of time before you find a concept you may actually want to bring to life.
For me, the entire process of creating something previously unimaginable — from exploration to iteration and final production — is indescribably addictive. With AI as my collaborator, the possibilities are endless.
I'm also fascinated by using AI to better understand our minds and to deepen our experience of being human.
If you liked this post, check out my predictions for AI in 2023 or Seems Unreal, my Ethereum-based art project with AI from March 2022.