AIs image generators are being a hit

A.I. tools like DALL-E which can generate images from a text input are getting very popular for those who create content but are also worrying for artists who are afraid to be replaced by an A.I. However, new tools have been coming out since the spread of DALL-E and Midjourney seems its first competitor.

According to Vice, Midjourney has launched its closed beta, allowing anyone to create an account and create fantastical renderings allowing some “free” generations. The system, which matches DALL-E in its capacity to produce amazing and occasionally unsettlingly lifelike renderings, underwent a stress test as a result of the influx of new users.

Compared to DALL-E, Midjourney appears to have a distinct talent for setting up scenes, particularly fantasy and dystopian sci-fi settings with dramatic lighting that resemble realistic concept art from a video game. It’s also incredibly effective at creating bizarre blendings that imitate many artistic movements.

The test gave way to a fully-open beta, allowing anyone to sign up and join the project’s Discord channel. The beta is operating entirely through Discord, with users typing their prompts directly into the chat interface and receiving messages from a bot that shows their generation rendering in real-time. Users can then choose to upscale and enhance an image from each set of generations, or create more variations from the same prompt.

However, each user is only allowed a certain number of generations during this “free trial” period before the bot asks them to subscribe. For non-commercial use, the cheapest plan costs $10 per month and offers 200 photos; the most expensive plan costs $30 per month and offers infinite generations. (The creators of DALL-E recently polled its beta testers on potential price points and they also intend to charge for access to their AI tool).

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The requirement that anyone using generated photos in “anything linked to blockchain technologies” pay a 20% royalty on any earnings over $20,000 per month is another way that Midjourney uses to deters people from minting NFTs.

While the creators of DALL-E have made an effort to reduce some of the biases in the training process that are inherent to these models including violent and sexual content, Midjourney hasn’t made any disclosures regarding the datasets and techniques used to train its AI tool and doesn’t appear to have any explicit content protections beyond automatically blocking specific keywords. However, upstream censorship could lead to a limited use of the tool, even when there aren’t malicious purposes but only artistic. It is also true, however, that being able to produce extremely realistic material with violent content involving real people would be detrimental, but the same content in a clearly unrealistic style would certainly be less harmful.

The “Content and Moderation” section of the Midjourny user guide gives users instructions on how to avoid making visually shocking or disturbing content, including adult material and gore, as well as how to avoid creating images or using text prompts that are inherently disrespectful, aggressive, or otherwise abusive. Aside from objectionable photos of public persons, the regulations also prohibit material that may be perceived as racist, homophobic, unsettling, or in some manner disparaging to a community.

These AI tools are changing the way creators and artists will approach to art and content. Will creators mass use these tools? Or will they adopt them just as a help? We already have texts generated through AI tools but in the future we could see content completely generated by Artificial Intelligences. AIs will be able to create music, videos, texts and images and in part it already does it. So,will artists have to be more game-changing to be original? Or will they employ this technology to create a new form of art?