There has been a bit of an internet kerfuffle because someone posted an AI render of the pope, wearing a crazy cool white hiphoop puff coat.


Forbes [for] has the story. The short form is that, oh my god, people won’t be able to tell AI “fake” images from “real images” – presumably “real” images being captured on film or digitally, scanned, manipulated in photoshop, down-sampled, sharpened, and posted on the internet (where, depending on the platform, they are transcoded into smaller more compressed versions). I actually ran across the pope/coat image before it broke on Important News Channels like Forbes, chuckled, then did a few ideas of my own.

Naturally, I was thinking of upgraded PopeMobiles.

Midjourney AI and mjr (“the popemobile designed for urban assault parked in a plaza in Italy”)

I assume the large tank-like element in the rear is for swiss guards and blessed wine. Then I was thinking maybe the pope would go clubbing in his custom papal logo’d Bugatti, no doubt driven by some Italian F1 star.

Midjourney AI and mjr (“the popemobile as an armored white bugatti veyron”)

The AI came up with the papal crests on the wheel-rims, which I think is a pretty nice touch. Can’t you just picture popey rolling through town at ridiculous speeds, snorting lines of mexican flake off the carbon fiber tray built into the dashboard? Humble fellow.

Midjourney AI and mjr: “the popemobile as an armored white and gold attack helicopter”

You gotta love the discreet shrouds that cover the autocannon.



  1. billseymour says

    The first image would be even funnier if Pope Fluffy were standing up in the back of the armoured vehicle waving at the crowds. 8-)

  2. flex says

    When I saw the title in the sidebar I thought the subject was Popes in a kinetic sculpture…

  3. says

    Reginald Selkirk@#4:
    That asymmetrical helicopter rotor is even more dangerous than polydacty.

    I’m sure it’d fly OK if it was carrying the pope.

  4. says

    When I saw the title in the sidebar I thought the subject was Popes in a kinetic sculpture…

    A calder style mobile of little popes and priests.

    My first attempt I said “cardinals” to get that red color, but it wound up looking like a flock of red birds.

  5. says

    I think that kevlar/shearling battle frock popey is wearing in #3: that would sell. I’d buy one. But it’d have to be in black.
    You know he’s strapped AF under that thing.

  6. says

    So… a few notes on how i make these:
    Often I do multiple images, requesting “sketch” of whatever, then downloading, cropping and saving, so i can feed back the component images as prompts for the final. Sketches are particularly good for color selecting in photoshop to compose a rough image that the AI will rework. So to get the papal armored truck i fed a sketch of an armored truck and a picture of popey in his reactive armor and let the AI lift from both images. If I put more than a few minutes into an image I store all the assets and temporary versions in case I want to re-work it when the AI gets upgraded.

  7. sonofrojblake says

    (Aside – I’d love to hear the AI explain how that helicopter works, with particular reference to the design of the tail rotor, and what the lights halfway down the main rotorblades are for and how they’re powered.

  8. billseymour says

    I love the pope as a dalek, but then I never found the daleks believable either:  all you have to do is run away from them.  You can’t run away from the Roman Catholic Church…they’re everywhere.

  9. Reginald Selkirk says

    @15: lights on helicopter rotor blades:
    They would look cool, and could be used to send messages like this.
    I would try to power them with the static electricity that inevitably builds up on rotor blades.

    As for the (lack of) tail rotor, it could be a Notar design. The air outlet is probably hidden behind the tail seal.

  10. Reginald Selkirk says

    @6: I am not sure what Protestant Mike Pence would be doing with the Pope, other than calling him the Devil.

  11. Reginald Selkirk says

    @11: I was going to complain about that not looking like Pope Francis, but then I checked a recent image and Pope Francis no longer looks like Pope Francis. He seems to have put on some weight. “Pandemic pounds” perhaps? Anyway, your image with the deep vertical lines in the face reminds me of someone, but I am not sure who.

  12. says

    Reginald Selkirk@#18;
    I am not sure what Protestant Mike Pence would be doing with the Pope, other than calling him the Devil.

    He’ll kiss anyone’s ass who is more powerful than he is.

  13. Tethys says

    It’s funny how 80s down puffy coats have become chic and fashionable. The dang things were warm, noisy, and I’ve never grokked what is cool about looking like the Michelin Tire man?

    Pence looks like he forgot his stormtrooper helmet. I like the kinetic sculpture, though I can’t see any popes in it. It’s a Miro in 3D.

  14. brightmoon says

    I liked the Calder / Miro mobile/stabile . Then again I used to hang out at MOMA in Manhattan when it got too cold to watch the ice skaters at Rockefeller Center.

  15. sonofrojblake says


    I never found the daleks believable either: all you have to do is run away from them.

    It’s pointless running from the Daleks. There’s always, always more of them. Usually a LOT more.

    The Daleks were conceived as a thinly veiled analogue of the Nazis. Indeed, consider that there’s been a longer gap between the beginning of ECCLESTONE’S Doctor and now than there was between the end of World War 2 and the first time anyone saw a Dalek. Nazis were very fresh in the memories of everyone making and watching that first serial.

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