A series of AI-generated travel posters (all images courtesy Stasher/Midjourney)

International travel is always a bit of a leap of faith, as we venture into the unknown to discover how life works in other places (and have lots and lots of conversations about what-is-the-word-for-something). Until you’ve seen a place for yourself, it’s a bit of an abstract idea, so why not ask Artificial Intelligence to generate your travel poster?

Maybe that’s why this series of AI-generated travel posters, commissioned from research lab Midjourney on behalf of the luggage storage company Stasher, is kind of perfect. Artificial Intelligence has been both everywhere and nowhere, and into this spotless mind, the company fed the country’s name and their official travel slogan. The rest was up to Midjourney, and the results are at least on par with the output of a high, five-figure junior art director with the mandate to “keep it vague.” Like most travel posters, Midjourney has evoked a fairly sketchy sense of place, sometimes punctuated by notable landmarks or natural features.

There is one thing, and one thing only, that we know about France, and it is the Eiffel Tower … which doesn’t actually look like what’s pictured here, but close enough.
Spain doesn’t bother with details like slogans, when we can just skip straight to the hashtag.
The pairing of tall building imagery with the tagline “live it up” is what we call in the ad biz a “see and say” and you can earn in the low six figures for making the stuff Midjourney is just giving away like lemonade at a picnic.
Italy’s actual travel slogan is “Made in Italy,” which is funnier when you imagine a robot wrote it, but a little concerning if that’s the best human minds could come up with.

Italy’s poster seems to feature a Howl’s Moving Castle-esque scenario, navigating a drowning industrial landscape that spews toxic (but patriotic) clouds into the sky. The United States is basically just a giant flag, which is a statistically accurate representation of the country, and we should probably just be grateful it isn’t an image of a dumpster fire or a pile of guns.

If you love seeing American flags, come to America. We have them within reach at all times.
Simply Inspiring? “Say something about your country that says nothing at all!”

I guess the real test of a travel poster is whether you would be able to guess what country it is promoting, in which case, basically all of these fail. But in fairness, I would be hard-pressed to match most of the human-generated official travel slogans to their country of origin, except in the cases where they explicitly mention the country (okay, I will return the points I docked for “Made in Italy”). It seems that the watchword for promotional travel materials is “make it anyplace.”

Japan is visibly Japan.
The UK looks like Walt Disney dropped Ecstasy.
Greece is no better or worse than the Instagram feed of everyone who has ever visited Capri.
If you like Roadrunner cartoons, you’ll love Australia. Watch out for flying trees!

Sarah Rose Sharp is a Detroit-based writer, activist, and multimedia artist. She has shown work in New York, Seattle, Columbus and Toledo, OH, and Detroit — including at the Detroit Institute of Arts....