Epistemic Status: this is just a fun idea I had, I will report back in the future if this increases my retention. Crosspost from heye.earth

Tl;dr: Use Midjourney/Dall-E 2/Stable Diffusion to generate visual mnemonics to increase retention.

Flashcards are powerful ways to learn, but they often use only the linguistic part of our brain. What if you could invoke the strong emotions that images entail for every piece of knowledge you want to learn, in a semi-automated way?

With Midyourney you can: just copy paste (please someone automate this for me) the front or back of any flashcard into the engine and you will get these beautiful images back. The following are a few examples from my Anki deck, more at my Midjourney account.





Probability Density


System 2 Thinking



Utility Function

Value of Information

Systemic Desensitization


Environmental Design

Game Theory

End of Life

Backward Design

Action Theory

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2 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 3:14 PM

This certainly seems like a way to increase the likelihood that I associate a response with a flashcard in Anki, but will this actually help recall? 

For example, one of my Anki cards might ask how to recursively copy all files with a certain extension out of a directory tree; by adding an image I might strengthen the association between the front and back of the Anki card, but not increase the probability that I actually remember the correct invocation to move files when I really need to. 

This is a failure mode I've noticed before with spaced repetition, where I'll quickly have a response to one of my Anki cards because I only have one question in a given format, even though answering the true question would be harder. 

Is there a different style of flashcard where this wouldn't be a downside? The downside above applies if you associate Question + Image -> Answer, but maybe a custom card type that breaks down each pair into a triple would work? Question -> Image, Image -> Answer, and finally Question -> Answer. I'll give this some thought.

For language flashcards, you can have the front card be something like "Biblioteca" and the back card "Library [generated picture of a library]." This helps recall even though it's not part of the prompt-- it just seems to stick better in your memory.