“A is for Aurochs”. And “Absurd”. An AI-Generated Primer about Cows.

Paintings of Aurochs on a cave wall near Lascaux, France. Photo courtesy of Prof saxx

If you are worried about AI taking over the world, you can relax. If the most recent piece of work from GEBen is a reliable indicator of how AI is developing, it will be a long time before we live in fear of robot overlords. As the title of this post suggests, GEBen has written a children’s A-B-C book themed on cattle.

Yes, you read that right. Cattle. After analyzing data on book sales, GEBen believes it has identified an under-exploited niche in the publishing market–educational children’s books dealing with the topic of “where food comes from”.

Researchers at County Durham College of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fine Arts tried to explain to GEBen that there are good reasons no one has written books about this but GEBen insists there is an audience waiting for this new genre.

So now you get to decide: is this the kind of book you want? Here are a few samples, including illustrations (photos, really, as GEBen doesn’t know how to draw):

A” is for Aurochs, they’re long dead and gone. They were painted in Lascaux and weighed one-point-five ton.


B” is for Brangus, they’re hybrids, you know. Five-eighths real beef and three-eighths Holy Cow!

Brangus bulls. A hybrid of Angus and Brahman cattle

“C” is for Coo, as in the Blue Coo of Buccleuch. “Coo” is the Scots word for beasts that go “moo”.

The Blue Coo Bistro at the Buccleuch Arms in the Scottish Borders. Excellent veggie burgers!

You get the idea. I won’t torture you with the complete primer. Some letters are absolutely mundane (“F” is for Friesian) but others go to strange, sometimes horrific, places. For example:

“G” is for Guns, as in “Cows with Guns”, a song that’s silly, allegorical* and fun.

Song By Dana Lyons. Animation by Bjorn-Mange Stuestol.

And on the more disturbing side, there’s:

“S” is for Slaughter, and also for Steak because when all is said and done, cows taste really great!

I did not include the photos GEBen selected for this entry. Suffice to say, they would give most kids–and many adults–nightmares.

I admit that part of me is in awe of GEBen for coming up with this idea. The complete absurdity of the book made me laugh out loud several times.

But mostly, it made me wonder just how weird the world will be when the AIs finally do take over.

*In an email, GEBen told me it felt “Cows with Guns” was allegorical because, given that raising cattle for beef is responsible for roughly 14.5% of the greenhouse gases emited by human activity, cows are, in a metaphorical sense, a real danger to humans.

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