$800 Million Project’s “First Look” A lot like Midjourney A.I.

Shelby Sullivan
5 min readNov 11, 2023
Photo by Nerea Martí Sesarino on Unsplash

A Silicon Valley company named California Forever, backed by billionaires including LinkedIn’s co-founder and Steve Jobs’ widow, has acquired enough land to proceed with plans for a high-tech “city of yesterday” near San Francisco.

The company, led by CEO Jan Sramek, has spent over $800 million in a years-long campaign acquiring 53,000 acres in Solano County. Despite a recently dropped $510 million lawsuit against local landowners, details about the project, which promises a green smart municipality, remain vague.

Critics express concerns about logistical, legal, and governmental uncertainties, while some worry about the proximity of the proposed city to Travis Air Force Base and potential national security issues. The project envisions a walkable community with homes, a solar energy farm, orchards, and parks.

Basically, what other countries have been doing for decades (sometimes centuries) is now the pet project of a bunch of rich Americans who would rather buy up 53,000 acres for their own personal 1950s Disneyland than fix the cities and towns that have been crumbling into dust for years.

But I don’t want to get into the rage I feel about an insane amount of money being used to create something that already exists in plenty of other places. Instead, I want to talk about their concept art.

Suspiciously Midjourney

In the popsci.com article from November 7th, photos credited to California Forever are used to showcase the utopia the company has planned. Yet as California Forever is revealed in concept art, I’m struck with a suspicion. Not just about the futuristic promise, but about the oddly unimpressive concept art.

I started to notice blurry corners and strange lines on the human-looking figures in these images. And as a broke graphic designer who has used Midjourney in the past to create fake book covers (not for commercial use or sale), I figure I can quickly spot the signs of A.I. art.

This image, for example, is from California Forever’s site.

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Shelby Sullivan

6 years as a professional writer, editor, blogger, and designer. Learn to make book covers and contact me at linktr.ee/sulliwrites !